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The NBA announced Saturday it suspended Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum one game without pay for leaving the bench area during an altercation in Wednesday’s 113-104 preseason win over the Phoenix Suns, according to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The official release, which USA Today‘s Sam Amick relayed, noted the incident occurred with 9:33 remaining in the fourth quarter of the exhibition tilt at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Sam Amick @sam_amick
.@nba suspends CJ McCollum one game. Details here..(Video here – https://t.co/2NQQ62oLau) https://t.co/83BXBY1Wj6
While McCollum didn’t get involved in the altercation himself, he strayed onto the floor when big man Caleb Swanigan got in a tussle with Suns center Alex Len, as NBA on ESPN documented:
NBA on ESPN @ESPNNBA
CJ McCollum is suspended for the Blazers season opener for leaving the bench during this scuffle. https://t.co/Pdaxvn3uvJ
“I’ve been in the league way too long to have a mental lapse like that,” McCollum told Wojnarowski.
The 26-year-old will serve the suspension this coming Wednesday when the Blazers open the 2017-18 regular season back in the desert against the Suns.
According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, McCollum will forfeit a $165,000 game check. The 26-year-old will be eligible to return when the Blazers clash with the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday.
With McCollum out of the picture, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts will need to lean on Evan Turner, Maurice Harkless, Pat Connaughton and perhaps Shabazz Napier to fill the void on the wing.
McCollum averaged a career-high 23.0 points per game on 48.0 percent shooting from the field, 42.1 percent from three and a league-best 91.2 percent shooting from the free-throw line last season.