Sports Morant scores 33, Grizzlies beat Trail Blazers 130-128
Jazz rout Trail Blazers for 23rd straight home victory
SALT LAKE CITY — Strong second-half defence helped the Utah Jazz break open a close game and extend their franchise-record home winning streak. Donovan Mitchell scored 37 points to lead Utah to its 23rd straight victory at home, a 122-103 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night. Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 21 rebounds, Joe Ingles added 13 points and six assists and Utah dominated the glass by outrebounding Portland 58-41 while snapping a two-game skid. “This was a must-win,” Mitchell said. “We kind of put our focus on that, not letting three go to teams who are playoff bound.” Damian Lillard scored 23 points and C.J.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Ja Morant had 33 points and 13 assists and the Memphis Grizzlies handed the Portland Trail Blazers their fourth straight loss with a 130-128 victory on Friday night.
Dillon Brooks added 25 points for Memphis, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Morant is the first player in franchise history with as many points and assists in the same game. He had no turnovers.
Damian Lillard overcame a slow start and finished with 27 points, and Jusuf Nurkic added 26 points and a season-high 17 rebounds. Portland has lost six of its last seven.
“We know what we’re capable of every night. We’ve just got to go out there with a lot of energy for 48 minutes,” Morant said. “Offensively we're going to score the ball, so as long as we are locked in on the defensive end and get stops we're going to always put ourselves in a position to win the game.”
Pacers hang on to beat Grizzlies behind LeVert, Brogdon
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Caris LeVert scored 34 points, Malcolm Brogdon and Donantas Sabonis fell just short of triple-doubles and the Indiana Pacers held on for a 132-125 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night. Brogdon had 29 points, matched his season-high with 11 assists and had nine rebounds. Sabonis finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, part of the Pacers grabbing a season-high 53 rebounds en route to their third straight victory. Memphis centre Jonas Valanciunas matched his career high with 34 points and his season high with 22 rebounds. Valanciunas had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Memphis rally. Ja Morant had 23 points.
Neither team was able to lead by double digits. The Grizzlies had a 100-99 edge heading into the final period.
Nurkic's dunk gave the Blazers a 116-115 lead, but Jaren Jackson Jr.'s layup put the Grizzlies back in front with 5:20 left. Lillard made the second of a pair of free throws to tie it at 117 before Nurkic's layup.
The teams wrestled for the lead down the stretch. Morant's layup put Memphis up 125-123. He missed the first of a pair of free throws before Norman Powell's layup got the Blazers within a point with 45.9 seconds left.
The Blazers got the ball with 10.7 seconds left and 2.1 on the shot clock, but Nurkic missed a shot under the basket. De’Anthony Melton made free throws at the other end, giving Portland 3.6 seconds left for a 3-pointer to tie it.
Grizzlies top Bucks 128-115 as they start fast on long trip
MILWAUKEE — Grayson Allen is helping the Memphis Grizzlies produce an ideal start to their longest road trip in two decades. Allen shot 7 of 10 from 3-point range and scored 26 points to lead six Grizzlies in double figures as Memphis beat the Milwaukee Bucks 128-115 on Saturday. Allen's seven 3-pointers represented a career high. Memphis has begun its seven-game road swing by winning on back-to-back nights. The Grizzlies opened the trip Friday with a 126-115 victory at Chicago. “I just know we have guys that are competitive,” Allen said. “When you get on the road and things get tough, everyone on our team raises our level and we come out with a lot of fight.
Lillard was fouled and made his first free throw but his second rimmed out and Portland couldn't catch up.
“They pushed the pace on us the entire game. Obviously we didn't shoot the ball from three in the fourth quarter, but that wasn't the reason we lost. We really didn't take away their transition all for most of the night, and that, and the fourth quarter, I think made the difference,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.
The Grizzlies were in the midst of a seven-game road trip, longest of the team's Memphis-era. They'll play the Trail Blazers three times in the space of a week. After Friday's game, the teams meet again Sunday afternoon at the Moda Center, then they face off in Memphis next Wednesday.
Memphis had lost four straight to the Blazers, and the Grizzlies hadn't won in Portland since 2017.
“We knew they were going to score, they’ve done it all season long so we had to have a next play mentality,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said.
Paul George has 33, Clippers down the Blazers 113-112
PORTLAND, Ore. — Paul George had 33 points, including two free throws with 4.8 seconds left that gave the Los Angeles Clippers a 113-112 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night. George also had 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, playing without Kawhi Leonard. It was the sixth time in the last seven games that George had had 32 or more points. “He's been carrying us,” Clippers coach Ty Lue said. “He's really stepped up by making his teammates better but also scoring the basketball. He's just doing everything. It was a complete game tonight and we needed every bit of it.
Both teams were slow to get warmed up. The Grizzlies led 28-20 in the opening quarter and 62-56 at the break. Morant's putback capped the half and he led all scorers with 14 points.
Nurkic's layup and a 3-pointer from CJ McCollum got Portland within 62-61 to start the second half.
Portland pulled in front 71-70 on Lillard's layup, but he came down hard on the court and came up grimacing. It was just his second game back after a hamstring injury kept him out for three games. He stayed in the game.
The Blazers couldn't hold on to the lead and Brooks' running jumper gave the Grizzlies a 94-91 lead.
Portland gave up a season-high 75 points in the paint.
“It’s harder when you lose by one point or a close game than just blowouts," Nurkic said. "It hits harder.”
Grizzlies: Dillon Brooks played for the University of Oregon. ... The teams were due to meet in late January, but the game was called off because of coronavirus protocol. Memphis did not have the league-required eight players for the game. ... Memphis Center Jonas Valanciunas missed his third game because of concussion protocol.
Morant has 28 points, Grizzlies beat Blazers again, 120-113
PORTLAND, Ore. — Ja Morant had 28 points and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Portland Trail Blazers for the second time in three days, 120-113 on Sunday. Jonas Valanciunas, back after missing three games because of concussion protocol, added 21 points and 10 rebounds and the Grizzlies held off a late rally by Portland. “The most impressive thing for us tonight was to not panic late in the game. When they went on that run we stayed locked in,” Morant said. “We got stops late and that was needed for us to get the win. Every punch they threw we threw a punch back and that allowed us to win the game.
Trail Blazers: Portland continued to run tests for when the team is allowed to welcome fans back, with a handful of people — mostly employees and family — sitting in socially distanced courtside seats across from the team benches. Among the “fans” in the stands was Lillard's toddler son. Oregon still has not allowed spectators at indoor sporting events because of COVID-19.
Morant, Jackson and Brooks had 10 or more field goals, marking the first time three Grizzlies have had as many since Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph against the Phoenix Suns in 2017.
Jackson finished with 23 points off the bench. It was just his second game back this season after recovering from left knee surgery.
“I’m very excited to have him back on the floor," Morant said. "He's a tough cover. You’ve just got to pick and choose what you’re going to give up with him. He's able to knock down the 3, attack you off the dribble and finish inside so it’s hard to contain him.”
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Anne M. Peterson, The Associated Press
McCollum powers Trail Blazers past Celtics 129-119 .
BOSTON — CJ McCollum scored 10 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and Portland held on for a 129-119 win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday night, extending the Trail Blazers' winning streak to four. Damian Lillard had 26 points and 13 assists for Portland. Carmelo Anthony finished with 13 points — including a 3-pointer with 1:08 remaining to help seal it after Boston pulled within two points. The Trail Blazers improved to 4-0 on their six-game road trip. They entered the game in seventh in the Western Conference playoff standings and are trying to work their way out of the play-in round. “I think we’re playing better basketball at the right time,” McCollum said.