CJ McCollum calls himself a ‘shark’ after game-winner


How did the Portland Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum describe himself after he drained the game-winning shot against the Toronto Raptors on Monday night? As a shark.

“I’ve always figured out ways to eat and I think that’s what best describes me. Sharks just go hunt. They don’t worry about anything,” McCollum said via NBC Sports Northwest.

McCollum had no problem eating in the Blazers’ 112-111 victory. He scored a team-high 30 points, with the most important ones coming with just 10 seconds left in the game. Fending off Fred VanVleet, McCollum executed some sharp dribble moves before making a gorgeous mid-range jumper to give the Blazers a one-point lead.

Here’s how McCollum described his strategy against VanVleet in those final seconds.

“I wanted to get him moving in each direction. VanVleet’s a great defender, but he’s smaller. So you’ve got to move the smaller defender before you move to spots,” McCollum told NBC Sports Northwest. “I was like, ‘I’m gonna get about to 10 feet.’ … And then as my brother would say — ‘baby food’ — finish him off and just go home.”

McCollum’s “baby food” two-pointer sealed the victory, putting an exclamation point on a game that saw the Blazers make a 17-point comeback after trailing for all but 15 seconds of the first half. Damian Lillard scored 23 and Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points off the bench.

For the Raptors, Monday night was their second last-second loss in a row. They’re now 2-8, tied with the Detroit Pistons for the worst record in the NBA. It was a good night for Pascal Siakam, who got his first career triple-double after scoring 22 points with 13 rebounds and 10 assists, but it wasn’t enough to carry the Raps over the finish line.

PORTLAND, OREGON - JANUARY 11: CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots the game-winning shot over Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors during the final seconds in the fourth quarter at Moda Center on January 11, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
The Blazers’ CJ McCollum described himself as a “shark” after fending off the Raptors’ Fred VanVleet to make the game-winning shot on Monday night. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

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