Heroic Damian Lillard (42 points) took down Ja Morant’s Grizzlies
When Damian Lillard (42 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists) is in that “zone”, the Blazers seems to be able to compete with anyone, or almost. Illustration tonight, because the All-Star point guard, who has shots that are more difficult than others, will fully defend them. Grizzlieshe could not be restrained all night.
Results of the races: a month and a half after their last victory away from home, the players of Portland won on the floor of the second best team in the Western Conference (122-112), happened to be in the Top 3 of the most successful at home.
Despite a very good Yes Morant (32 points, 9 rebounds, 12 assists) as the leader of the local collective, Memphis broke down at the end and therefore failed to continue (or even recover), conceding there sixth loss in seven games.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
— Damian Lillard, the miracle worker. We didn’t give the Blazers much skin in the second half, when we saw that Jerami Grant was out of the game and had joined Jusuf Nurkic in the infirmary. However, thanks to a “Queen” of gala, Chauncey Billups’ men won their fourth victory in five games and the strokes of genius of their star leader had a lot to do with it. Regardless of the defense he receives, Damian Lillard finds a way to score (and score) points. Both on throws (15/16) to rev up, and on 3-pointers (5/13) out of balance, sometimes hot, or on pass.
— Ja Morant, brave but loser. On the brink of his third straight triple-double, the Grizzlies point guard tried his best to answer his counterpart Damian Lillard, but he ended up encountering someone stronger than him that night. Their rivalry of the All-Stars was in any case very pleasant to follow, they who noticeably offended the plug in the third quarter. But the more experienced of the two had the last word, despite all the enthusiasm and enthusiasm of the younger, whose relative judgment we were sure to regret in the fourth quarter.
— The return of Danny Green. Arriving at the Grizzlies last summer from Philadelphia, the three-time NBA champion hasn’t walked the floor since May 2022 and his double ligament rupture of his left knee in the playoffs. But nine months later, and while some feared the end of his career, he made his big return to competition, under the colors of Memphis. Used from the bench, he played 10 minutes, the time to score 3 points (1/4 from distance), without a winner in the end…
✅ Jerami Grant and Anfernee Simons. Damian Lillard clearly took all the lights on the Blazers side, but his flagship lieutenants weren’t neglected either. In the first half, before he was injured, Jerami Grant (18 points) kept Portland in touch, along with Damian Lillard, in front of the collective Memphis. In the second half, and especially in the fourth quarter, Anfernee Simons (26 points) put her team in position to play suspenseful “money time”, while Damian Lillard rested, before planting the +5 basket a minute from the end . Also mention Drew Eubanks (11 points, 11 rebounds and two big posters).
✅ Jaren Jackson Jr.. His increase in power in the minutes and quarter-time was not rewarded with success, but “JJJ” (18 points, 7 rebounds, 6 blocks) often showed good things, on both sides of the hardwood floor, for Grizzlies. Very comfortable against the “small ball” of the Blazers, the 23-year-old interior was one of the participants in Memphis’ dominance in the paint, with several baskets scored by taking advantage of his height advantage. Defensively, his ability to dissuade, block shots and deflect balls remains impressive, despite criticism from some of his stats.
⛔ Portland wounds. Jusuf Nurkic (calf) after two minutes and Jerami Grant (concussion protocol) before half-time, while Josh Hart (unspecified) also went to the locker room in the third quarter. Suffice it to say that the Blazers’ owners are in physical pain and it clearly won’t help business for Damian Lillard’s teammates, who are struggling collectively.
Memphis (32-19) : “back-to-back” in Cleveland, Thursday through Friday night (01:30).
Portland (25-26) : trip to Washington, in the evening of Friday to Saturday (01:00).