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Two Seasons After NBA D-League Debut, C.J. McCollum Headlines NBA Opener

By Brian Kotloff | October 29, 2015

Two years ago, C.J. McCollum’s rookie season began in Boise, Idaho, where he took the last step in rehabbing a foot injury with the Blazers’ then-affiliate. He scored 13 points in 17 minutes on Jan. 3, 2014, dropped 24 the next night and was recalled the day after that.

On Wednesday night, McCollum opened his third season in Portland with a bang.

The guard out of Lehigh lit up the Moda Center with 22 first-quarter points and finished Rip City’s win over the Pelicans with an NBA Opening Night-high 37 points on 14-of-22 shooting, including 6-of-9 from three.

It was the start of what many are projecting to be a breakout season. The rebuilding Blazers have gone young, and McCollum — a standout in last year’s playoffs — and backcourt mate Damian Lillard have become their nucleus.

The visual evidence of how far he’s come:

Pro Debut: Jan. 3, 2014

Last night

The Buzz

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