The Portland Trail Blazers fell to the Memphis Grizzlies tonight 111-104. Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, already sporting a porous defense and slow foot speed, the Blazers got run out of the gym. Damian Lillard gave his usual big effort, scoring 20 with 10 assists, but it wasn’t enough on a night when they ceded 67 in the first half alone. Adding injury to insult, Lillard left the game late in the fourth with apparent groin pain.
As happened last night in New Orleans, the Blazers got beat down the floor with regularity. It’s not that they played horrible defense; Memphis scored when the defense wasn’t there at all. The Grizz scored 21 fast break points, good for about 20% of their total.
No Good Shots
Portland shot a metric ton of three-pointers tonight. Their percentage was so-so (35%), but that kind of attack will work as long as they back it up with easy scores inside. They got none. Their overall field goal percentage languished at 37%, worse than that before garbage time buckets. That gave the Blazers no chance on a night when the Grizzlies scored like hotcakes.
The Blazers did a good job on Ja Morant (when he wasn’t free in transition) but Brandon Clarke scored 27 off the bench on 12-14 shooting. That was more than Portland’s entire bench combined.
In rebuttal, Anfernee Simons managed 22 of his own on 7-12 shooting.
1-15 shooting from Carmelo Anthony didn’t help.
The Blazers will seek revenge against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night the 21st in Portland, with a 7:30 PM, Pacific starting time. Happy All-Star break, all!