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Blazers History: Portland Wins The Play-In

On this day two years ago, the Blazers made history.

Memphis Grizzlies v Portland Trail Blazers - Game One Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

During the 2020 NBA Playoffs, the league had to get creative. Not just from a logistics standpoint, but from a competitive one too.

The league moved into a bubble in Orlando to protect players from COVID-19, but also implemented a new format to qualifying for the playoffs that has continued as a new league tradition: the Play-In Tournament.

Though the rules are different today than they were back in 2020, the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Memphis Grizzlies in the league’s first play-in game since 1956 on this day two years ago.

The Blazers came out on top in a 126-122 win to clinch the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Had the Grizzlies won, the two teams would play again to determine who would be the final playoff team.

CJ McCollum led the way with a team-high 29 points, while Jusuf Nurkic came up with 22 points and 21 rebounds.

The Blazers went on to face the No. 1 seed Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, and even though Portland won Game 1, the team lost four straight games and exited the playoffs and bubble in the first round.