Ja Morant pours in 33 as Grizzlies edge Blazers | Inquirer Sports
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Ja Morant pours in 33 as Grizzlies edge Blazers

/ 03:17 PM April 24, 2021
Ja Morant Grizzlies NBA

FILE – Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies brings the ball up court during the first half against the Golden State Warriors at FedExForum on March 19, 2021 in Memphis, Tennessee. Justin Ford/Getty Images/AFP 

Ja Morant scored 33 points and added a season-best 13 assists to help the Memphis Grizzlies record a 130-128 victory over the host Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

Dillon Brooks added 25 points as Memphis prevailed in the first of back-to-back games between the teams. Jaren Jackson Jr. poured in 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting in 25 minutes off the bench in his second game of the season after recovering from August knee surgery.

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Kyle Anderson contributed 14 points and eight rebounds, Xavier Tillman had 12 points and De’Anthony Melton scored 10 as Memphis improved to 3-2 on a seven-game road trip.

Damian Lillard scored 27 points and Jusuf Nurkic recorded season bests of 26 points and 17 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who lost their fourth straight game and fell for the eight time in their past 10.

CJ McCollum added 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Portland. Norman Powell and Carmelo Anthony added 13 points, and Enes Kanter had 12 points and seven rebounds.

The Trail Blazers (32-27) fell into seventh place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the Dallas Mavericks. Eighth-place Memphis (30-28) is just 1 1/2 games Portland entering the Sunday rematch in the Pacific Northwest.

Grizzlies big man Jonas Valanciunas (concussion) missed his third straight game.

Brooks and Morant converted back-to-back layups to give Memphis a two-point lead with 1:34 to play, and Morant split two free throws to give the Grizzlies a 126-123 edge with 1:11 left.

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Powell drove for a layup with 45.9 seconds left to bring Portland within one. Nurkic missed an inside shot with 8.8 seconds to go before Melton made two free throws with 3.6 seconds to play for a three-point Grizzlies advantage.

Anderson fouled Lillard with 2.3 seconds left before the Portland star could get up a 3-point shot. Lillard made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second, but Jackson grabbed the rebound and made two free throws to make it a four-point margin with one second left.

The Grizzlies connected on 53.1 percent of their shots and were 9 of 30 (30 percent) from behind the arc. Memphis held a 29-7 edge in fastbreak points.

Portland shot 47.9 percent from the field, including 14 of 35 (40 percent) from 3-point range. The Trail Blazers owned a 50-39 rebounding advantage.

Morant scored 14 first-half points as the Grizzlies led 62-56 at the break.

Lillard scored 15 in the third period, but Brooks knocked down an 18-footer with 1.8 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 100-99 edge entering the final stanza.

Field Level Media

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