Can CJ McCollum lead the Portland Trail Blazers to NBA glory this season?

NBA: Star Shooting Guards Continue Sizzling Hot Starts

Two of the standout players through the first few weeks into the NBA season have been shooting guards: the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal and the Portland Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum.

Beal is currently leading the league in scoring by a wide margin, while McCollum is just a few places behind him in third.

And the two red-hot shooting guards continued to create NBA 2021 highlights to lead their respective teams to victory. Beal’s all-around performance brought the Wizards a shock win over the much-improved Suns, while McCollum hit the game-winning jumper as the Blazers beat the struggling Raptors.

Read on below as SBOTOP recounts Beal’s and McCollum’s magical games, as well as all the other exciting basketball action that went down in the NBA.

 

New York Knicks 88-109 Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets are suddenly the hottest team in the NBA. Charlotte have now won four games in a row after beating the Knicks at home.

Gordon Hayward had a terrific game with 34 points on 11-of-17 shooting, while Devonte Graham — who has been struggling mightily with his shot — had his best game of the season with 19 points.

On the other side, the Knicks are quickly cooling off after their own hot start to the season as they’ve now lost three in a row. Julius Randle, who has been outstanding thus far (23 PPG, 12 RPG, 7 APG), had by far his worst game with just 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.

 

Memphis Grizzlies 101-91 Cleveland Cavaliers

Despite the absence of young stars Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., the Grizzlies just keep on grinding. They won their second game in a row with a 101-91 victory over the Cavaliers. Dillon Brooks led the way with 21 points and 7 rebounds, while Brandon Clarke added 15 points.

Meanwhile, the Cavs’ recent slide continues. After winning their first three games, they’ve now lost six of their last eight.

With their starting backcourt Collin Sexton and Darius Garland still out, Andre Drummond led Cleveland with 19 points and 14 rebounds.

 

Milwaukee Bucks 121-99 Orlando Magic

The Bucks produced yet another blowout win with a 22-point road victory over Orlando. Of Milwaukee’s seven wins, all have been by double digits and five have been by 15 or more points.

Two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was one of three Bucks with 22 points as no Milwaukee starter played over 30 minutes.

As for Orlando, they have now suffered three straight defeats since starting point guard Markelle Fultz suffered a season-ending knee injury. And with their next three games coming against the Celtics (twice) and the Nets, their losing skid looks likely to grow much longer.

 

Phoenix Suns 107-128 Washington Wizards

Bradley Beal helps Washington Wizards defeat the Phoenix Suns in the NBA

Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal shoots against Phoenix Suns’ Jae Crowder during an NBA match at the Capital One Arena

The Wizards completely defied the NBA 2021 betting odds as they scored a blowout win over the Suns to end their recent three-game losing skid.

Russell Westbrook was out once again for the struggling Wizards, but Bradley Beal returned from his recent absence to drop 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists. Beal, the NBA’s leading scorer at 35 PPG, has now scored 135 points in his last three games.

Phoenix’s All-Star shooting guard, Devin Booker, held his own with 33 points. However, the rest of the Suns were ice-cold from beyond the arc as they went just 4-of-27.

 

Philadelphia 76ers 94-112 Atlanta Hawks

The significantly short-handed Sixers suffered another heavy 18-point defeat to the Hawks, which is their third straight defeat.

Philly were still missing three starters — Seth Curry, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris — as well as sixth man Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz and Matisse Thybulle due to the COVID health and safety protocol.

Facing the struggling Sixers came at just the right time for the Hawks, who went on a four-game losing skid following their hot start. Trae Young, who cooled off recently, had a bounce-back game with 26 points and 8 assists and five other Hawks finished in double figures.

 

Toronto Raptors 111-112 Portland Trail Blazers

CJ McCollum hit a clutch go-ahead jumper with 10 seconds left as the Blazers beat the struggling Raptors. The Blazers have now won three straight games, in large part due to McCollum’s strong play. He led the way with 30 points against Toronto and is averaging 28 PPG on the season.

Meanwhile, Toronto have now suffered back-to-back heartbreaking defeats. They also lost by a single point in their previous game against the Warriors, who won after two late free-throws.

On the bright side for the Raptors, Pascal Siakam’s resurgence continues after a slow start. The All-Star power forward had a triple-double of 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists in a losing effort.

 

Indiana Pacers 122-127 Sacramento Kings

The Kings picked up a much-needed home win as they outlasted the Pacers in a high-scoring shootout. Harrison Barnes was Sacramento’s top scorer with 30 points, and three other Kings had at least 16 points.

The Pacers had four players with 20 points themselves, led by All-Star Domantas Sabonis’ double-double of 28 points and 11 rebounds.

But the Indiana defence just had no answer for the Kings, who shot a sizzling 56 per cent from the field. The Pacers have now lost back-to-back games, giving up 125 or more points in both games.

 

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