----- Brandon Clarke scored 27 points off the bench to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 111-107 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Trail Blazers playoff hopes are on life support!
Damian Lillard exited the game in the fourth quarter with a strained groin during Portland's 111-104 loss Wednesday night at Memphis. He will have an MRI tomorrow in Chicago as he heads to the Windy City for All-Star Weekend.
Lillard said he will not compete in the three-point competition and will not play in the All-Star game in order to make sure he is healthy when the regular season continues on February 21st.
“Obviously, that’s something that you look forward to, those festivities and having fun,” Lillard said. “My health is first. I knew right away that (participating in the All-Star Game) wasn’t going to happen. I’ll still be there and be a part of it, but I’m not going to play.”
The Blazers kept things close in the first half with nine-straight points cutting the Grizzlies' lead to 67-63 at halftime.
Memphis took control in the second half outscoring the Blazers 25-19 in the third.
Brandon Clarke came off the bench to lead Memphis (28-26) with 27 points and Ja Morant finished with 20 points and nine assists.
CJ McCollum led Portland (25-31) with 23 points and Lillard finished with 20. Anfernee Simons scored 22 points off the bench on 7-of-12 shooting.
The Trail Blazers enter the All-Star break with back-to-back losses and now five-games behind the Grizzlies in the loss column for the 8th and final playoff spot in the West.
Up Next- The Portland Trail Blazers will get some rest during the NBA All-Star break. Their next game will be February 21st at Moda Center against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Chad's Take- The team is gassed and now five-games back of Memphis in the loss column for the 8th and final playoff spot in the West. Without Dame, it's impossible to make up that difference. He will get an MRI on his groin in Chicago.