According to the NBA’s official stats site, Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum had a game for the ages in Friday’s quadruple overtime thriller against the Denver Nuggets, with 41 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists — in just one minute of action.
One minute? It turned out that the game was so long — 68 minutes in total, matching the longest playoff game in NBA history — that the site was not built to keep up with such gaudy numbers. When C.J. McCollum went over the 60-minute mark, the site showed that his minutes played for the game reset to zero. The same happened for Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, who logged an incredible 64:58. That was the most minutes ever played for a 7-footer in any NBA game.
The Trail Blazers prevailed by a score of 140-137, thanks largely to the late-game heroics of McCollum, who scored 18 of his 41 points in overtime. As ESPN Stats & Info noted, that was the most in a playoff overtime in the last 20 years.
The Blazers also got some timely play from Rodney Hood, who played a light 23:35 and used his relatively fresh legs to hit a series of key shots in the final overtime period.
McColllum said in a postgame interview that he felt good and was ready for Game 4, which was less than 48 hours away at the time the game ended after 11 p.m. local time.
“That’s why I condition all summer, why I work on my diet, that’s why I get my sleep, why I get my massages,” McCollum said. “I’ve got to be ready to play every night.”
The home crowd helped push the team, McCollum added.
“We want that game bad, we were on our home floor and our fans gave us a lot of energy tonight,” he said.
CJ McCollum had 13 points entering the 4th quarter.
He dropped the rest when it mattered most ???? pic.twitter.com/7KztcP4kSE
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 4, 2019
The win could have been painful for the Blazers as well, possibly costing them center Enes Kanter, who had been playing with an injury. Kanter was in noticeable discomfort as he played through the overtime periods, but remained in the game to guard Jokic. Writer E. Garcia Gunderson reported after the game that Kanter’s already-separated shoulder grew worse in the game, leaving it up in the air whether he will be ready for Game 4.
But the outlook may not be good, as Blazers beat reporter Casey Holdahl had noted, Kanter was fighting back tears he was in so much pain during the overtime periods.
Enes Kanter said he separated his shoulder more in the game tonight. He’s not sure whether he will play in Game 4, but he says he will try.
— E. García Gundersen (@Erik_Gundersen) May 4, 2019
The Blazers and Nuggets will be back in Portland on Sunday night for Game 4, which tips off at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET.