Bane’s late burst leads Grizzlies past Trail Blazers 119-109
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Desmond Bane scored 30 points and keyed a fourth-quarter rally, Ja Morant added 23 points and nine assists and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers 119-109 on Tuesday night.
Luke Kennard added 20 for Memphis, converting 6 of 10 3-pointers.
Skylar Mays, who signed a 10-day contract with Portland last weekend, led the Trail Blazers with 24 points and seven assists. Shaedon Sharpe added 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Jabari Walker finished with 16 points.
Portland held the lead with nine minutes left, but Bane connected on a trio of 3-pointers over a four-minute stretch midway through the fourth. That was part of a 22-2 Memphis run to put away the feisty Trail Blazers.
As it has in recent games, Portland played without key pieces, such as leading scorers Damian Lillard (32.2 points a game), Anfernee Simons (21.1 points) and Jerami Grant (20.5 points), along with top rebounder Jusuf Nurkic (9.1 boards per game).
That left a number of reserves to carry the Trail Blazers, who are out of the playoff hunt.
The Trail Blazers chipped away at a 19-point Memphis lead in the first half when the Grizzlies became lackadaisical with the ball. That, and a much more focused Portland squad, led to Memphis holding a slim 66-62 lead at the break.
And at the start of the third quarter, Portland’s intensity continued and the Trail Blazers not only pulled even, but took the lead.
Trail Blazers: Portland was one of the few visiting teams to defeat the Grizzlies this season, winning 122-112 on Feb. 1. ... Portland already had eight players listed as “out” with the early injury reports. By the time coach Chauncey Billups got to the podium for his pregame comments, three more previously listed as questionable were not available. That left nine Trail Blazers in uniform. ... Jeenathan Williams, the rookie out of Buffalo signed by Portland on Saturday, started his first game and finished with four points.
Grizzlies: F Dillon Brooks took the night off with right hip soreness. Luke Kennard started in Brooks’ spot. ... The win snapped a four-game losing streak to Portland at FedExForum.
Trail Blazers: Play Thursday at San Antonio against the Spurs.
Grizzlies: Play the Pelicans in New Orleans on Wednesday.
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