Morant has 28 points, Grizzlies beat Blazers again, 120-113

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Ja Morant had 28 points and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Portland Trail Blazers for the second time in three days, 120-113 on Sunday.

Jonas Valanciunas, back after missing three games because of concussion protocol, added 21 points and 10 rebounds.

CJ McCollum had 27 points for the Blazers. They have lost five straight and nine of its last 11 to fall to seventh in the Western Conference — a half-game ahead of Memphis. Jusuf Nurkic had 16 points and 19 rebounds.

Sunday's contest was the second of three meetings between the two teams in less than a week. Morant had 33 points and 13 assists in a 130-128 Memphis victory over the Blazers on Friday night.

Memphis stretched the lead to as many as 16 points in the third quarter but Portland closed the gap to 94-92 on Carmelo Anthony's pullup 3-pointer with just over 10 minutes left. It was Anthony's fourth straight 3. But Portland went cold and the Grizzlies went on a 10-0 run to lead 104-92 after Dillon Brooks' 3-pointer with 8:35 left. Brooks' short jumper pushed it to 111-96.

Portland rallied, getting to 114-111 on Nurkic's layup and free throw with 58.3 seconds left.

After Morant's free throws, Norman Powell's layup made it a three-point game. Morant added another pair of free throw before Damian Lillard missed on a 3-point attempt that all but ended it.

Brooks finished with 18 points for Memphis.

The Grizzlies were in the midst of a seven-game road trip, longest of the team’s Memphis-era. They'll wrap it up on Monday at Denver, before hosting the Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

The Grizzlies were without Jaren Jackson Jr. because of injury management. Jackson has played in two games this season after left knee surgery and had 23 points in 25 minutes off the bench against the Blazers on Friday night.

The Blazers were off at the start but went on a 12-0 run that put them up 20-16 in the opening quarter. The lead was short-lived, however, and the Grizzlies built a 51-40 second-quarter lead capped by Morant's 3 pointer.

The Grizzlies had a 58-47 halftime advantage, paced by Valanciunas with 13 points. Portland was shooting just 29.4 points from the field in the first half.

The game was heated at times in the third quarter. Anthony and Brooks exchanged words and were given offsetting technical fouls. Earlier in the quarter, McCollum was charged with a flagrant foul on Brooks.

Lillard finished with 23 points.

TIP INS

Grizzlies: The teams were scheduled to meet in January but the game was called off because of coronavirus protocol. Memphis did not have the league-required eight players for the game due to contract tracing.

Trail Blazers: The Blazers had five fast-break points in the opening half — compared to 25 for the Grizzlies. ... Portland now heads out on a six-game road trip.

UP NEXT

Grizzlies: At Denver on Monday night.

Trail Blazers: At Indiana on Tuesday night.

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Anne M. Peterson, The Associated Press