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Recap: Blazers Shake Off Slow Start, Tame Grizzlies 116-89

Memphis hung around for one half, but Damian Lillard ended their upset hopes for Portland’s 50th win.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The Grizzlies tried to make Wednesday night’s game ugly, but the Blazers took care of business anyway, 116-89 (Box score). Despite 10-point first-half lead for the Grizzlies, the Blazers had the bench empty midway through the fourth quarter. So what happened in between? Well...

  • An unpleasant first half. The Grizzlies sat nearly every player with a name you’d recognize. In order to compete, Memphis admitted their plan was to make the game “ugly”, and did just that on defense. Despite the talent disparity, they were successful: Portland struggled for much of the first half, until the Grizz ran out of gas and Lillard sparked a late run capped by a steal from Chandler Parsons, followed by a buzzer-beater.
  • Flipping a gear. Coming out of the locker room with a slim lead, Portland showed the energy that was missing for the first 20 minutes of the game. The tiring Grizzlies couldn’t compete on talent alone. By the end of the third, the game was essentially over.
  • Two-thousand-zero-zero. Damian Lillard passed the 2,000 point threshold for the season again, as he easily dominated the Grizzlies’ guards. He finished with 20 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds.
  • Back-to-back triple double! Evan Turner got two late assists to complete his second consecutive triple-double.
  • Pac-Man on the boards. The Blazers gobbled up every rebound that came near them, nearly doubling up the woeful Grizz for the night.

What’s Next

A big game: Portland heads to Denver for a huge Friday night battle against the second-place Nuggets.