Portland Trail Blazers

CJ McCollum scores 23 points, Pelicans beat Blazers 127-94

CJ McCollum scored 23 points in 29 minutes against his former team and the New Orleans Pelicans moved closer to clinching a home play-in game with a 127-94 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night. Jonas Valanciunas, who returned from a sore right ankle, scored 14 points in 21 minutes for the Pelicans, who were without leading scorer Brandon Ingram (right hamstring), but wound up not needing any starters on the floor for as many as 30 minutes against a reeling Blazers team that had a patchwork lineup and lost its ninth straight. The victory, combined with San Antonio's loss at Minnesota, left New Orleans needing either one more victory or one more Spurs loss to lock up a home play-in game on Wednesday.

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