It was hard to not notice that CJ McCollum just wasn’t himself during Portland’s huge win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. While Damian Lillard posted a whopping 61 points to push the Trail Blazers into the eighth seed in the West, McCollum scored just eight points on the night, although he hit a pair of clutch free throws to clinch the victory.
The guard could not buy a bucket in the 134-131 win, going 2-of-14 from the field. But, as it turns out, he’s been playing with a fractured back since last Thursday. That is according to NBC Sports Northwest’s Dwight Jaynes, who reports McCollum “has been playing with a L3 vertebral transverse process fracture (non-displaced)” these last three games.
The Blazers will hold onto the eighth spot if they win their final seeding game, which comes against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday. One win in two games will guarantee them playoff action in the play-in but losing twice to the No.9 seed would see them sent home.