March 29, 2018 / 2:53 AM / 5 months ago

Grizzlies top Lillard-less Blazers for second win in a row

EditorsNote: adds “in his Grizzlies debut” in fourth graf

Minus All-Star point guard Damian Lillard, the Portland Trail Blazers didn’t have quite enough to win Wednesday on the second night of a back-to-back.

The Memphis Grizzlies snapped Portland’s seven-game road winning streak with a 108-103 victory at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn. It was Memphis’ second win in as many games after losing 23 of its previous 24 outings.

Lillard was in Portland, awaiting the birth of his first child. His regular backcourt mate, CJ McCollum, led the Trail Blazers with 42 points while shooting 16-of-25 from the field.

MarShon Brooks, in his Grizzlies debut, led Memphis with 21 points. Dillon Brooks had 18 and Chandler Parsons added 15.

Portland also was without starting forward Moe Harkless, who had arthroscopic surgery on Wednesday to remove a loose body from his left knee. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Shabazz Napier, who started for Lillard, had eight points and two assists in 27 minutes.

McCollum hit his first seven field-goal attempts and scored 16 points in the first quarter, igniting Portland to a 28-20 lead. He was quiet in the second quarter, missing one shot and then making his second attempt of the quarter with 1:39 left. At the half, he had 25 points (9 of 10 from the field), and the Trail Blazers had a 58-53 advantage.

Off the bench, Parsons led Memphis in the first half with 11 points, and Dillon Brooks had 10.

McCollum ended the third quarter with a 3-pointer that gave the Trail Blazers an 81-76 lead.

MarShon Brooks sank a 3-pointer with 1:45 left in the game for a 102-99 Memphis lead. Jusuf Nurkic missed two free throws for the Trail Blazers, and with one minute to play, Kobi Simmons scored at the basket for a 104-99 advantage. Zach Collins made a 3-pointer for Portland, but after a Memphis miss, McCollum couldn’t connect on a drive.

Dillon Brooks went to the foul line with 23.4 seconds remaining and made two shots for a 106-102 lead. The Trail Blazers’ Evan Turner made one of two free throws with 18.3 seconds left, but MarShon Brooks sank two free throws at the 15.8-second mark to all but seal the win.

—Field Level Media

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