Fresh off the news they had clinched a playoff spot after a Timberwolves loss, the Portland Trail Blazers broke open a close game in the third quarter to easily roll over the Memphis Grizzlies, 113-98. Damian Lillard led with 27 points and 9 assists. CJ McCollum finished with 20 points and 9 assists, and Evan Turner and Al-Farouq Aminu each scored 17.
Memphis made a late run to force the starters back into the game, but it was never in doubt.
Here were a few essentials from this one.
- Not Gonna Watch That Again. The Grizzlies and Blazers combined for an absolutely dreadful first half, one that a few Moda Center attendees called their worst-ever in-person experience. Portland took a 15 point lead, then promptly gave it away to an undermanned Grizzlies squad. For that half, the Grizzlies provided a quality that was rare: Energy. Portland still led by a handful at the half, then scored 43 in the third quarter to blow the game open.
- Memphis won’t make that mistake twice. The Grizzlies’ lineups would look like head-scratchers, if you didn’t know they were clearly tanking. Eventually, Portland took advantage. It just took longer than expected.
- Dunks ahoy.
Road trip! Portland heads out for the Texas Three-Step, starting in Dallas Tuesday night.