Like most expected, the Memphis Grizzlies have been knocked down out of playoff contention for the second straight season. Before the 2017-2018 season, the Grizzlies have made seven straight postseason appearances and one Western Conference Finals appearance. Even though they are basically finished for the season, they will hope to avoid a second consecutive loss as they battle the Trail Blazers in Portland tonight.
As for the Portland Trail Blazers, they will make a sixth consecutive playoff appearance. As they sit at the fourth spot in the Western Conference with a 49-28 record, they hope to capture a second straight victory tonight.
The Grizzlies and the Trail Blazers have met up a grand total of 93 times in the past as the Grizzlies grabbed 43 wins while the Trail Blazers went on to win 50 games. This game will mark the fourth and final time that these two ball clubs will meet up this season. The last time they saw each other was on March 5 when the Grizzlies handed the Portland team a 111-120 loss. Mike Conley finished that contest with 40 points, four rebounds, four assists, and one steal while C.J. McCollum had 27 points, two rebounds, two assists, and one block.
-Kyle Anderson (shoulder; 8.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, 54.3 FG%, 26.5 3P%, 57.8 FT%)
-Avery Bradley (knee/wrist; 9.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.4 APG, 40.8 FG%, 35.1 3P%, 86.0 FT%)
-Dillon Brooks (toe; 7.5 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.9 APG, 40.2 FG%, 37.5 3P%, 73.3 FT%)
-Mike Conley (ankle; 21.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 6.4 APG, 43.8 FG%, 36.4 3P%, 84.5 FT%)
-Jaren Jackson (quad; 13.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.1 APG, 50.6 FG%, 35.9 3P%, 76.6 FT%)
-C.J. Miles (foot; 6.4 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.7 APG, 36.0 FG%, 33.0 3P%, 82.8 FT%)
-Joakim Noah (knee; 7.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.1 APG, 51.6 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 71.6 FT%)
-Jonas Valanciunas (ankle; 15.6 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.4 APG, 55.9 FG%, 29.2 3P%, 79.5 FT%)
Portland Trail Blazers:
-C.J. McCollum (knee; 21.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, 46.3 FG%, 38.0 3P%, 83.1 FT%)
-Jusuf Nurkic (leg; 15.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 3.2 APG, 50.8 FG%, 10.3 3P%, 77.3 FT%)
-Meyers Leonard (coach’s decision; 5.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 54.1 FG%, 45.0 3P%, 83.7 FT%)
The game would be held close at the beginning as the Portland Trail Blazers shot fifty-seven percent in the first half while the Memphis Grizzlies completed fifty-three percent of their shots. Damian Lillard would score 14 points, earning three of those points from beyond the arc in the first quarter. He also had four rebounds, seven assists, and one steal while Enes Kanter chalked up 13 points on eighty-five percent shooting.
Former Los Angeles Clippers’ forward Al-Farouq Aminu helped out with seven points as the drilled a trey late in the first quarter. Rodney Hood also had seven points which included a three-pointer while Maurice Harkless earned five points. Evan Turner played fourteen minutes off the bench but only had four points.
As for the visiting team, Delon Wright scored eleven points while hitting a three-pointer in the first period. 2014-2015 NBA champion Justin Holiday had eight points which held two three-pointers in the first quarter. Ivan Rabb also had eight points, along with four rebounds and one steal. Chandler Parsons played the most minutes off the bench as he had 13 points while the Oregon team went into the locker room with a 62 to 59 lead.
The Trail Blazers would pick up speed as they went on a 56 to 30 run in the second half, shooting forty-six percent, holding the Grizzlies to a low twenty-three percent shooting. During that run, Zach Collins dropped eleven points off the bench while hitting two three-pointers late in the fourth quarter. Lillard would only score eight points but had three rebounds, three assists, and one steal while Kanter also had eight points.
Rabb scored five points for the Memphis Grizzlies but it wouldn’t matter as the Portland Trail Blazers ended up blowing them out, 116 to 89. Enes Kanter finished the game with 21 points, along with 15 rebounds, and a season-high and a career-high-tying 3 steals. Chandler Parsons ended up with 16 points, one rebound, one assist, two steals, and a season-high-tying one block.
The Memphis Grizzlies will travel to Texas to take on Luka Doncic (21.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 5.9 APG, 42.5 FG%, 32.7 3P%) and the Dallas Mavericks (31-46) on Friday at 8:30 p.m. This will be the third of four times that these two teams meet up this season. March 2 was the last time they saw each other as the Grizzlies blew the Mavericks out, 111-81. During that game, Jonas Valanciunas scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out four assists, and committed one steal while Luka Doncic finished with 22 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
The Portland Trail Blazers will head to Colorado to battle Nikola Jokic (20.1 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 7.3 APG, 50.8 FG%, 31.4 3P%) and the Denver Nuggets (51-26) on Friday at 10:30 p.m. This game will mark the third of four meetings between these two ball clubs during this season. The last time they played each other was on January 13 when the Nuggets snuck away with a 116 to 113 victory. Nikola Jokic finished that matchup with 40 points, along with 10 rebounds, and 8 assists while Damian Lillard settled for 26 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists.