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CJ McCollum’s Mom Helped Spark His Scoring Outburst

Jason Quick of The Athletic details how McCollum’s mom sent him a motivational message following his slow start.

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NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum finally broke through against the Milwaukee Bucks for a high-scoring performance that observers all know he’s capable of. McCollum’s 40-point outburst against the Bucks was helped by none other than his mom sending him a simple message, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic (subscription required):

So when his mom twice told him to “Turn it up, Baby” — first in a phone call, then face-to-face at his home — she might as well been speaking for all of Rip City.

“It’s because I’m not an average player. I’m a really good player, and I don’t feel like I was playing like a really good player,” McCollum said.

Teammate Damian Lillard welcomed McCollum “back” after the performance as well:

“I told him, ‘That boy is back!”’ Lillard said. “Not that he wasn’t here before, but what he just did … that was baaaad. And it’s good to see that.”

You can read more from Quick’s story here (subscription required).