The Blazers were led by CJ McCollum's 33 points on 7-11 from three. Unfortunately, that's the whole list of leaders; the rest of the Blazers scored minimal points or had poor shooting nights. McCollum personally kept the Blazers close all night, but it wasn't enough without a supporting cast.
LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 14 points on 5-18 shooting, and Damian Lillard added 22 points on 8-19 shooting; it was 6-16 before being padded by some late layups uncontested by the Grizz. No other Blazers scored in double figures.
First Quarter: Yet another terrible Blazers start to open the game. They had turnovers on the first two possessions, while the Grizzlies quickly opened shooting 4-5. Portland needed an early timeout, down 8-0 already. The timeout didn't help, as Aldridge fell down and turned the ball over on the next possession, and soon Portland was down 13-1 and the rout looked imminent. But as CJ McCollum and Meyers Leonard arrived, Portland pushed back, closing the deficit to 18-15 late in the first. They made another push late in the first, as the the lane opened up and the Blazers took advantage. McCollum's jumper tied the game at 20 as the quarter came to a close. Lillard, McCollum and Batum scored all the Blazers' points.
Second Quarter: The Blazers came alive, taking a 4 point lead while spreading around the scoring. But it didn't last long, as Memphis regained control after a timeout. The teams battled back and forth, exchanging the lead for most of the quarter. But every Portland shot rimmed out loud, and Vince Carter came alive, leading the Grizzlies to a 7 point halftime lead.
Third Quarter: The Blazers came out with their normal starting lineup. The result was the same: Within minutes, Memphis pushed their lead to 13. Lopez, called for multiple fouls within minutes, was forced out of the game. But, with help from a flagrant foul by Zach Randolph, the Blazers scored 8 quick points to cut the Memphis lead to 5. That was as close as things got, as the Grizzlies stormed out of the timeout to restore their lead. But they didn't count on McCollum, who carried the team on his back, scoring nearly at will to pull the Blazers into a tie, then a three-point lead, forcing a Memphis timeout. They took back the lead out of the timeout (a familiar refrain), and held on for a 2 point advantage heading to the fourth.
Fourth Quarter: More struggles for the Blazers, as Memphis continued to hold a slim lead. Portland couldn't get defensive rebounds, and turned it over when they grabbed the board. At the halfway point, Memphis held a slim 1 point lead, and both teams were struggling to score. But while Portland missed shot after shot, Memphis found their stroke, and started hitting like crazy. With 3:30 left, Memphis took a 10 point lead, and Portland was stuck playing out the clock as a promising season came to an end.
Thanks to all who read Blazer's Edge Gameday Coverage this season. Stay tuned, as there will be plenty of coverage to come this summer for free agency, draft, and Summer League before the players report in September.
Nic Batum knows he will be bashed for poor season: "I understand that ... I understand why people will get mad. I'm the first to get mad.''— Jason Quick (@jwquick) April 30, 2015
Aldridge said he'll have his left hand checked soon. Said there's a 20% chance it healed on its own, if not he'll have surgery.— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) April 30, 2015
Hardest thing for LaMarcus Aldridge to digest after series: "That we never played our best basketball. I didn't play my best basketball''— Jason Quick (@jwquick) April 30, 2015
Dame and Meyers hit the road. pic.twitter.com/LEKfS5URhP— Bruce Ely (@bruceely) April 30, 2015