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Houston Rockets 126-128 Portland Trail Blazers: Twitter erupts as CJ McCollum spoils James Harden's season opener in an overtime thriller

Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers
Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers
ANALYST
Modified 27 Dec 2020, 11:59 IST
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To close out an exciting Boxing Day full of basketball, the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trail Blazers gave us the best game of the season so far.

Check out the complete 2020-21 NBA schedule right here.

In a much-anticipated start to their season, the Houston Rockets did not disappoint despite having to play without their new All-Star signings, John Wall and Demarcus Cousins, due to COVID-19 issues.

James Harden carried the load in scoring, with 44 points and 17 assists. However, CJ. McCollum ultimately stole the show, matching Harden's 44 points and stealing the win in overtime, 128-126.

James Harden and Christian Wood look like a promising duo for the Houston Rockets

San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets.
San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets.

Coming into the new season, many fans and NBA analysts believed that John Wall would be the new duo partner for James Harden. However, it was Christian Wood who turned out to have a great early connection with Harden.

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Christian Wood has been in the NBA since 2015 but saw his first real constant minutes just last year with the Detroit Pistons, where he averaged 21.4 minutes a game.

The Houston Rockets acquired Wood in a sign-and-trade deal with the Pistons. They agreed to pay Christian a three-year, $41-million contract as part of the trade that sent Trevor Ariza and the No. 16 NBA draft pick to Detroit in exchange for a future first-round pick, according to the Houston Chronicle.

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There is no doubt that James Harden had a little extra motivation to perform well in the game tonight, as he announced earlier this week that he has added the Portland Trail Blazers to his preferred trade destination list.

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The Houston Rockets headed to the locker room at half-time with a 68-58 lead.

CJ McCollum takes over in the second half with a career-best performance for the Portland Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Two
Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Two

CJ McCollum has always been looked at as the sidekick to Damian Lillard with the Portland Trail Blazers.

However, McCollum was the head honcho tonight, scoring a career-high of 9 three-pointers on 56.2% shooting from behind the arc. He scored four of his threes in the third quarter, which started the Trail Blazers' comeback.

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CJ McCollum has never made an All-Star game in his eight years in the league with the Portland Trail Blazers. With a couple more performances like tonight, he will not only find himself in the All-Star game but could also potentially be on the All-NBA second team.

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In a game where James Harden and CJ McCollum were trading shots back and forth all night, McCollum was able to come up clutch in overtime to push the Portland Trail Blazers to their first win of the season.

Published 27 Dec 2020, 11:59 IST
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