CJ McCollum Suspended 1 Game for Leaving Bench in Altercation vs. Suns

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2017

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 11:  CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers handles the ball against the Phoenix Suns during the preseason game on October 11, 2017 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
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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. 

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: 

"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.