For the second straight night, a top scorer went off for his team, both of which came from the Western Conference. On Wednesday night, it was C.J. McCollum who put up a career-high 50 points in a 124-108 Portland Trail Blazers rout of the Chicago Bulls. This epic night began with McCollum setting a franchise-record with 28 points in the first quarter alone, which is the most by an NBA player in a quarter this season. The hot scorer shot 19-of-25 from the floor and fell nine points short of Damian Lillard's franchise record of 59 points from last season. Portland led by as many as 29 on the night, as Lillard chipped in 13 points and seven assists before sitting out the fourth quarter of the blowout. The win was the Blazers' fourth straight overall and eighth in a row on their home floor. The Bulls have now dropped five in a row, as they got 23 points from Zach LaVine in the loss. They were playing without Kris Dunn for a sixth straight game due to a concussion. The Bulls look to snap their skid on Saturday when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers. The Blazers hit the road for a tough Eastern Conference battle with the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
LeBron, Cavs Bounce Back Against Heat
Just one night after the Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Detroit Pistons on the road and lost Kevin Love for six to eight weeks with a broken hand, they had to come back out on their home floor on Wednesday. LeBron James helped his team bounce back against his former team as they hung on for a 91-89 win over the Miami Heat. James had 24 points and 11 rebounds, while Jae Crowder hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:21 to play in the game. James Johnson had a chance to force overtime at the buzzer, but James turned away his shot attempt as time expired. Cleveland has ranked in the lower bowl of all defensive categories this season, but were able to hold the Heat to 3-of-28 shooting from beyond the arc. They hadn't held a team under 90 points since November 20th, but were able to do so on Wednesday to help overcome their 35 percent shooting mark. Goran Dragic had 18 points and Josh Richardson added 15 to lead Miami, who will visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night. The Cavaliers continue on without Kevin Love and will host the Houston Rockets in a Saturday Primetime showdown.
Evans Helps Texas Tech Survive in Overtime
The Texas Tech Red Raiders remain a top-10 team despite some tough losses this season, and they knew Wednesday night was going to be a fight. Their in-state rivals, the Texas Longhorns, took them to overtime on their home floor, but Keenan Evans' late jumper helped the 10th-ranked Red Raiders survive with a 73-71 win. Evans finished the night with a career-high 38 points, including the game-winning buzzer-beater, for Texas Tech's sixth conference win. Evans heard the chants of "MVP" from the crowd, despite missing the potential game-winning free throw with 3.8 seconds left in regulation. He went on to score six of his team's nine points in overtime and shot 9-of-13 from the floor, capped off by the 18-foot jumper that won it. Kerwin Roach led the Longhorns with 20 points, while Matt Coleman and Mohamed Bamba had 12 apiece before they both fouled out. Texas moves on to another rivalry game, which is the Red River Rivalry, on Saturday when they play host to the 12th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. The Red Raiders hit the road to battle TCU that same day.