New Orleans Pelicans guard C.J. McCollum has always been one of the better guards in the league. He has a knack for working around screens and getting himself open for jumpers while being able to get to the rim and get some easy looks.
On Friday, he did it from deep. He knocked down a career-high and franchise-record 11 3-pointers to knock off the Philadelphia 76ers, 127-116. McCollum had 42 points, leading New Orleans past the Sixers despite 37 points and eight rebounds from Joel Embiid.
The Sixers built a 10-point lead in the first quarter as Embiid dominated. He scored 15 points in the opening quarter as he and James Harden worked their two-man game to perfection. However, McCollum, Zion Williamson and the Pelicans took over the game from there. Philadelphia never led after the first quarter.
“We played with better pace. I think when we started the game off I was too slow,” McCollum told reporters. “I wasn’t getting us into sets quick enough and I wasn’t playing with force. I started to play with force. Zion began to play with force, and we were getting downhill and making the right plays. It was a really good team effort tonight. That was a really good team win.”
McCollum and Williamson combined for 78 points. The Sixers had no answer for either player. Williamson had 36 points and five rebounds; he was 10-for-16 from the free-throw line.
“He’s a special talent,” McCollum said of Williamson. “He’s special and he’s hard to guard. You saw tonight (Friday). He gets what he wants, he’s patient and he made the right plays and passes. He makes the game easy for me. I’ve been really working on my shot and getting in the gym to get extra reps and break down film. To God be the glory.”
Doc Rivers upset with Sixers' defense, turnovers in loss to Pelicans
Tyrese Maxey officially active, to make return for Sixers vs. Pelicans
Former Sixers two-way guard Saben Lee lands deal with Raptors 905