The Trail Blazers have looked good at times this month, but they haven’t been able to win many games. Portland is 3-10 in April and 0-4 in their last four games.
Sunday against Memphis started off hot — leading 10-2 — but the Blazers rallied to take their largest lead of the game, 20-16. However, Memphis led after the opening 12 minutes, 23-20.
The Grizzlies (31-28) piled on in the second, led 58-47 at the break and eventually led 90-78 heading to the fourth.
Portland (32-28) rallied once again to trail by just 2 (94-92) — thanks to Carmelo Anthony hitting four 3-point shots — but Memphis used a 10-0 run to jump back out to a 12-point advantage. The Blazers would fight back one more time.
They got back within 3 on a 15-3 run (114-111), but that was the closest Portland could get in the closing minutes. After a lengthy review the Blazers were officially awarded the ball with a chance to tie, but the inbounds pass was stolen.
Memphis would hit all six free throws in the final 35.3 seconds, while Portland could only muster one field goal in the same span. The Grizzlies leave the Rose City with a pair of wins over the Trail Blazers, including Sunday’s 120-113 victory, and Memphis now owns the tiebreaker with Portland.
The two teams face off once more — this Wednesday in Memphis — before the season ends.
Damian Lillard was not himself most of the game, shooting just 3-11 in the first half. He finished 8-of-27, so it didn’t get much better. Lillard had 23 points.
CJ McCollum led the way for Portland with 27 points. Jusuf Nurkić looked good again on the stat front with 16 points, 19 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.
With the two blocks, Nurk tied Dale Davis for 19th in all-time blocks as a Blazer with 291.
Carmelo Anthony scored 12 off the bench (all 3-pointers), and he grabbed three rebounds which passes Scottie Pippen for 86th all-time in NBA History for rebounds with 7,495 boards.
On the Memphis side, Ja Morant had a game-high 28 points, while Jonas Valenciunas had 21.
Portland’s six-game roadie starts on Tuesday in Indiana against the Pacers.
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