----- The Portland Trail Blazers fell to the Memphis Grizzlies, 98-87, Tuesday night at Moda Center when CJ MCollum's mid-range jumper came up short in the final seconds.
It was another close game for the Trail Blazers tonight at Moda Center. But unlike the wins over the Lakers and Thunder, the Blazers didn't make the plays they needed to beat a hard-nosed Grizzlies team.
Portland forced a Grizzlies turnover with 12.6 seconds remaining, but CJ McCollum missed a mid-range pull-up Jumper in the final moments that would have won the game. McCollum was able to collect the rebound off his miss but couldn't get another shot up before the final buzzer sounded. McCollum was sensational on the night scoring 14 of his game-high 36 points in the fourth quarter.
Aside from McCollum, It was a tough night for the Portland offense. Damian Lillard scored just 12 points on just 4-for-16 shooting, and Jusuf Nurkic picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter and as a result played just 20 minutes in the game. He finished the night with six points and five rebounds and was benched by Terry Stotts in the fourth quarter in favor of Ed Davis. Nurkic didn't play in the final 3:44 of the game.
Portland (6-5) got a nice boost from their bench tonight. Evan Turner and Shabazz Napier combined for 28 points while Ed Davis added 10 rebounds.
Memphis (7-4) got 20 and six assists from Mike Conley and 21 points off the bench from Tyreke Evans. Marc Gasol added 16 points and five rebounds. Dillon Brooks played his first game in Portland since ending his college career at Oregon finishing with seven points and eight rebounds.
Next up- Portland will host Brooklyn on Friday night at Moda Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 PM.
Chad's Take- tonight was the worst game Jusuf Nurkic has played in a Trail Blazers uniform. Early foul trouble prevented him from finding a rhythm, and Marc Gasol did a nice job of frustrating Nurkic in the post by denying him position and slapping the ball away from him on several occasions. These early season close losses are going to come back to haunt the Blazers late in the season when they are jockeying for playoff position in the West. They must start stringing together some wins.