Post Up: Winning Collum

Trail Blazers 114 (23-29), Mavericks 113 (20-31)

What a finish. Down by one with 3.9 second left in regulation, C.J. McCollum drove past Wesley Matthews and Harrison Barnes to sink a one-handed floater, giving Portland a crucial victory in their playoff push. On a bittersweet night for the Trail Blazers- the team lost Evan Turner to a broken hand- McCollum and Damian Lillard were sublime, scoring 32 and 29 points, respectively. The Mavs hung in well in Tuesday’s heartbreaker, as three players (including 38-year-old Dirk Nowitzki!) scored at least 23 points. Yogi Ferrell appears to be coming back down to earth, as the former Hoosier scored just 12 points through 35 minutes.

“We’ve struggled to win games in these close situations,” Lillard said. “To finally close one out, it feels good going back home.”

Hornets 111 (24-17), Nets 107 (9-42)

Despite outscoring Charlotte 70-57 in the second half, the Nets absorbed their 10th straight loss. Former SLAM Podcast guest Spencer Dinwiddie received the start for Brooklyn, tallying seven points with four assists and a steal. Bojan Bogdanovic and Brook Lopez combined for 42, but ultimately a well-rounded attack (six players scoring in double-digits) helped the Hornets snap a seven-game skid.

Rockets 128 (38-17), Magic 104 (20-33)

The Magic cut their deficit to eight points early in the fourth quarter, before Houston’s torrid 24-2 run put the game out of reach for good. James Harden scored 25 points and Trevor Ariza added 20, handing Orlando their seventh loss in the last 10 games. The loss is particularly demoralizing to the Magic, who now sit five games behind the eight-seed in the Eastern Conference. Serge Ibaka, who scored a game-high 28 points, will be the team’s primary asset at the trade deadline.