PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)Desmond Bane scored 29 points, including 20 in the fourth quarter, and the Memphis Grizzlies withstood a late rally by the Portland Trail Blazers for a 111-106 victory on Wednesday night.
Ja Morant had 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Grizzlies, who led by as many as 17 early in the fourth quarter before the Blazers mounted a comeback. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak.
”We didn’t get rattled,” Bane said. ”We stayed with it and was able to get the win.”
Anfernee Simons scored 31 points for the Trail Blazers, who played without injured star Damian Lillard. Jusuf Nurkic added 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Jerami Grant hit a 3-pointer that got the Blazers within 96-90 with 4:46 left before Simons made back-to-back 3s to tie it at 96.
Steven Adams’ tip shot kept the Blazers from taking the lead, but Portland tied it again at 100 with a pair of free throws from Simons before Bane’s floater.
After Memphis padded the lead with free throws, Grant’s 3-pointer pulled Portland within 107-103 with 23 seconds left. Grant’s free throw got the Blazers even closer but Memphis hung on for the win.
”We just stayed the course. No need to overreact,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. ”They were getting hot but we were executing our coverages pretty good. We made a couple of adjustments late and our guys were able to execute at the end.”
Lillard missed his second game with a strained right calf. A six-time All-Star, Lillard was injured last week in a loss to the Miami Heat. The team said at the time he would be re-evaluated in one to two weeks.
”Obviously not great to lose, but it was a good fight,” Nurkic said.
Bane, who was averaging 24.2 points, was back after missing a game with a sore right ankle. Jake LaRavia also returned after a two-game absence with a non-COVID absence.
”I started off slow but I’ve kind of found my rhythm, even without last game with my ankle stuff, but I feel good and I’m happy to get the win,” Bane said.
Portland had been off since a 125-111 win over the Houston Rockets last Friday.
Memphis led by as many as 10 points in the first half. Simons’ basket got the Blazers within 41-40 midway through the second quarter, but David Roddy answered with a 3-pointer to smother the threat. The Grizzlies led 52-45 at the break.
The Grizzlies led 78-72 heading into the fourth quarter before Bane his back-to-back 3-pointers to extend it.
”For the most part in this game we had good opportunities. We just couldn’t really capitalize, couldn’t get over the hump. I didn’t love the start of the game for us,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said.
HONORING BILL RUSSELL
The Trail Blazers honored Hall of Fame player and coach Bill Russell, who died in July.
Lillard addressed the crowd at the Moda Center before the game.
”He made his voice heard. And he did what he needed to do, what he felt he had to do, for the greater good of the people,” Lillard said. ”So I just want to encourage you all to use your voices and make sure that we vote and do everything in our power to make the world a better place.”
Grizzlies: It was the last of a four-game road trip for the Grizzlies. … Dillon Brooks played collegiately at the University of Oregon.
Trail Blazers: Players from the Portland Thorns, who won the National Women’s Soccer League championship last weekend, were also honored at the game. … The Blazers played five of seven at home to start the season, with the next six games on the road.
Grizzlies: Host Charlotte on Friday night.
Trail Blazers: Open a two-game series against the Suns in Phoenix on Friday.
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