The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies this afternoon in FedExForum 100-94.
Heading into this contest, the debut of Chandler Parsons for the Grizzlies was the focus. And while he was worth the early headlines, he showed his rust throughout the game as he didn’t make a single shot on eight attempts. This game was always going to come down to how the other Grizzlies performed against the athletic, offensively inclined Portland Trail Blazers, and it didn’t work out this time for the good guys.
The first quarter started slowly, especially for Parsons from a shooting standpoint, but the Grizzlies overall continued to struggle with what they’ve had issues with all season long - poor defensive rotations/alignments (especially in the lane) and turnovers. Defensively, it led to things like this...
Some serious miscommunication on defense ends with the Grizzlies deciding no one should cover Damian Lillard.— Peter Edmiston (@peteredmiston) November 6, 2016
And offensively, it led to easy opportunities in transition for Portland. But Tony Allen defended, Zach Randolph made shots, and the Grizzlies hung around through the first quarter, only down three at the end of the period.
The second quarter was much more eventful. It was the period of James Ennis continuing to show his worth, defending well and running the floor. It was a period of Marc Gasol finding his shot, looking better offensively than he has in the previous two games or so. And while Tony Allen suffered a hip injury (he returned to start the second half), the story of the quarter was Mike Conley. He was scoring the ball well, creating for others, and made a long-range three to end the half with a 51-47 Grizzlies lead.
The Grizzlies started the second half with multiple makes from three-point land, including one by Tony Allen, which built the Grizzlies lead to ten.
Tony Allen hits a three . . . then points to a woman in the crowd holding a growl towel that says "Tony Allen doing Tony Allen things."— Geoff Calkins (@geoff_calkins) November 6, 2016
Chandler Parsons continued to struggle finding his shot, but his fit in the offense looked cleaner in the third quarter.
Parsons flashes his passing abilities, and TA hits his first 3 of the year https://t.co/ZW2bHmFXTg— grizzlam (@grizzlam) November 6, 2016
The 10 point lead dissipated, however, as Damian Lillard and the Blazers began to do what they were built to do - get buckets and get to the free throw line. Portland took the lead as the quarter came to an end.
Damian Lillard has more FT's than FG attempts. 3/10 from the field. 11/11 from the stripe— Devin Walker (@Devin_Walker5) November 6, 2016
That being said, the Grizzlies defense looked better than it had all game in the quarter as it ended.
This was terrific defense by Andrew Harrison, maybe the best of his NBA career. Watch him the whole clip. pic.twitter.com/pIaoLh8ks3— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) November 6, 2016
Andrew Harrison made a lay-up to wrap up the third and the Grizzlies were up one heading into the final stanza 77-76.
The Grizzlies started the fourth quarter cold, while C.J. McCollum continued to show why he is one of the best scoring guards in the NBA. Portland got up to a six point lead after McCollum scored his 33rd point of the game on a three-point make, which made it 95-86 Portland with less than six minutes to go in the quarter.
The Grizzlies were able to get the lead down to five, but McCollum and Lillard continued to keep the Grizzlies just out of reach of the lead. Memphis fell in love with the three too much down the stretch and McCollum, who finished with 37 points, led the Blazers to a 100-94 win.
The Grizzlies are now 3-4 on the season. They end their current four game homestand Tuesday night against the Denver Nuggets.