Grizzlies Ditch the Trail Blazers

----- Mike Conley Jr. scores a career-high 40 points as the Memphis Grizzlies top the Portland Trail Blazers 120-111 Tuesday night at FEDExForum in Memphis, TN.

Mike Conley Jr. saved his best for the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday night at FedExForum in Memphis, TN. Conley scored a career-high 40 points as the Memphis Grizzlies dropped the Blazers 120-111. Conley connected on 12 of his 18 shots including 6-for-7 from three-point range adding four assists and three rebounds.

The Blazers took a nine-point lead at 94-85 after a pair of free throws from CJ McCollum, but the Grizzlies responded with a 31-13 run to put the game away. Memphis took their first lead of the game with 4:01 to play at 101-100 on a three-pointer by CJ Miles.

The Blazers entered the night with a chance to finish up the season-long seven-game road trip at 6-1, but had to settle for 5-2 after the loss.

 “Obviously, our plan was to go home 6-1," Damian Lillard said. "That would have been great for us to get six wins out of this trip. A long trip and a lot of tough games. I think we can say it was a good trip. A great trip would have been 6-1. This one was tough.”

Memphis entered the game leading the NBA with 33 games scoring under 100 points, but they shot 53.3% on the night scoring 120 points against the Blazers defense. The Grizzlies scored 41 points in the second quarter, just the third time on the season they have scored 40 or more points in a quarter and followed it up with 38 in the fourth.

The biggest problem for the Blazers was ball security. Portland turned it over 20 times leading to 20 points for the Grizzlies.

McCollum led Portland (39-25) in scoring with 27 points and Lillard added 24 points and eight assists. Maurice Harkless continued his solid play scoring 20 points on 9-for-13 shooting and pulling down six rebounds. Enes Kanter scored 11 points off the bench.

The Blazers are now in a three-way tie for third place in the West with Houston and Oklahoma City at 39-25 with the Thunder coming to Moda Center on Thursday night.

“Obviously, both teams know it’s a big game,” Terry Stotts said. “As far as playoff seeding, they already have the tiebreaker on us. They’ve beaten us all three times this season. It should be a good game.”

Notes- Evan Turner returned after missing five games (sore knee). He did not score in just under 10 minutes of action.

Up Next- The Trail Blazers return home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night at Moda Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 PM.

Chad's Take- Loss stings on a night when Houston wins and OKC loses, but 5-2 on the seven-game road trip is superb. The Blazers exceeded my expectations. Really need to beat OKC Thursday night at Moda Center.

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