May 12 (UPI) -- Portland guard CJ McCollum scored 37 points and drained a clutch shot late in the game as the Trail Blazers defeated the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 on Sunday.
With under 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Trail Blazers holding a 96-95 lead, McCollum had a 1-on-1 matchup against Nuggets forward Torrey Craig. McCollum drove left and slammed on the brakes, creating enough room for the jumper.
McCollum drained the shot to give Portland a 98-95 advantage with 11.4 seconds remaining. His last-second shot was the difference in the Trail Blazers' 100-96 win over the Nuggets.
McCollum was 17-for-29 from the field and corralled nine rebounds in 45 minutes. Portland advanced to its first conference finals since 2000.
"Honestly, I got enough motivation," McCollum told reporters. "I got it out the mud. I went to Lehigh University, know what I'm saying? No one has ever been drafted from there before. So for me, it's about showing what I can do every night and keeping the door open for the next mid-major [prospect]."