The Portland Trail Blazers are seemingly in free-fall after dropping their fourth straight game (and eighth our of their last ten)130-128 to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Trail Blazers opened the game carelessly, with several turnovers leading to Memphis fast break points. It looked like the game could get out of hand before Portland settled down and began to assert their will on the flow of the game after the first six or so minutes. The Trail Blazers still trailed 62-56 at halftime.
The second half saw Portland open up their scoring from the inside out, with Jusuf Nurkic leading the way. But Memphis guard Ja Morant excelled at getting repeatedly out on the break off Trail Blazer misses and turnovers. Morant finished with 33 points and 13 assists as he repeatedly broke down the point of attack. More troublingly for Portland, the Grizzlies finished with 29 fast break points (to the Trail Blazers’ seven) as Portland came up just short in another game that was decided by one possession.
A positive for the Trail Blazers – center Jusuf Nurkic had his best game of the season, finishing with 26 points, 17 rebounds, and five assists. Damian Lillard led Portland with 27. CJ McCollum chipped in 20 points in the loss.
Up next for the Trail Blazers – a Sunday afternoon rematch between these two teams.