CJ McCollum has put a slump behind him and looks to follow up his best outing of the season when the Portland Trail Blazers host the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. McCollum exploded for 40 points in Tuesday's 118-103 win over the Milwaukee Bucks and also added six assists and five rebounds.

McCollum was 17-of-26 shooting and made five 3-pointers in a strong showing that followed a stretch in which he scored fewer than 20 points in five of six games. "Whether I play well or not, I know how much time I spend preparing," McCollum told reporters following the fourth 40-point outing of his career. "The only thing I saw was I had a lot of in-and-outs and I was shooting with a dead wrist. That was the only thing I noticed. I wasn't locking my wrist out, so I just tried to lock my wrist out." The Clippers are looking for their first three-game winning streak of the season after scoring 120 points in back-to-back wins over the Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves. "This team likes to play together and they understand that if one guy or a group is going they're fine with waiting," Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers told reporters of his team's unselfish approach.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), NBCS Northwest (Portland) 

ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (6-4): Starting forwards Tobias Harris (21.3 points) and Danilo Gallinari (20 per game) are providing a large chunk of the team's scoring, but the next four leading scorers are all reserves. Guard Lou Williams, the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year winner, is averaging 19.1 points and is followed by power forward Montrezl Harrell (12.1), center Boban Marjanovic (9.1) and rookie guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (eight per game). "We have different guys that can make plays, and on any given night, it's gonna be somebody else's night," Harris told reporters. "That's the beauty of our team."



ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (8-3): Portland is 3-1 on a six-game homestand that concludes Sunday against the Boston Celtics and its three triumphs have been by an average of 19.3 points. Swingman Evan Turner established season highs of 16 points and 11 rebounds against Milwaukee on a night in which point guard Damian Lillard tallied a season-low 13. Lillard wasn't needed for an offensive splurge with McCollum on a roll but his season average stands at a stellar 26.7.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Trail Blazers won the past three meetings after losing 10 of the previous 12.

2. McCollum averaged 18.3 points in four games against the Clippers last season.

3. Los Angeles SG Avery Bradley (ankle) will miss his second straight game.

PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 124, Clippers 117  Bet Now

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Team Name

Starter
Tobias Harris Position: Forward (F)
Danilo Gallinari Position: Forward (F)
Boban Marjanovic Position: Center (C)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Position: Guard (G)
Patrick Beverley Position: Guard (G)
DNP
Tyrone Wallace
Marcin Gortat
Sindarius Thornwell
Bench
Montrezl Harrell
Lou Williams
Mike Scott
Jerome Robinson
Milos Teodosic

Team Name

Starter
Al-Farouq Aminu Position: Forward (F)
Jake Layman Position: Forward (F)
Jusuf Nurkic Position: Center (C)
CJ McCollum Position: Guard (G)
Damian Lillard Position: Guard (G)
DNP
Wade Baldwin IV
Gary Trent Jr.
Bench
Evan Turner
Zach Collins
Caleb Swanigan
Seth Curry
Nik Stauskas
Meyers Leonard

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