NBA regular season

Damian Lillard puts up 42 as Blazers topple Grizzlies

Damian Lillard puts up 42 as Blazers topple Grizzlies

ON FIRE. Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (left) reacts after a basket against the Grizzlies.

Petre Thomas/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Damian Lillard hits the 40-point plateau for the second straight game as the Trail Blazers also spoil a near triple-double effort of Grizzlies star Ja Morant

Damian Lillard recorded 42 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds to lift the visiting Portland Trail Blazers to a 122-112 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, February 1 (Thursday, February 2, Manila time).

Lillard reached the 40-point plateau for the second straight game and the ninth time this season. He made five three-pointers and hit 15-of-16 shots from the free throw line for the Trail Blazers, who outscored the Grizzlies, 38-22, in the fourth quarter.

Portland’s Anfernee Simons scored 26 points and Jerami Grant added 18 before exiting in the third quarter due to concussion-like symptoms. Jusuf Nurkic departed early in the first quarter after aggravating a lingering calf issue.

The Trail Blazers, who were opening a three-game road trip, earned their fourth win in five games.

Ja Morant collected 32 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who have lost six of their past seven games overall. They also saw their eight-game home winning streak come to a halt.

Jaren Jackson Jr. recorded 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 blocks, and Desmond Bane added 17 points for Memphis.

Memphis’ Danny Green scored 3 points while playing 10 minutes in his season debut. The three-time NBA champion had been sidelined since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament in his left knee while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals last year.

Simons made a stepback jumper and a pair of free throws and Drew Eubanks added a dunk to give the Trail Blazers a 106-105 lead with 3:19 remaining in the fourth quarter. Lillard added a pair of three-pointers to help Portland pull away.

Lillard sank a triple to forge a 67-67 tie before Morant scored 7 straight points to highlight a 10-0 run by Memphis. Portland, however, trimmed the deficit to 6 at the end of the third quarter.

The Trail Blazers escaped a 12-point, first-quarter hole and seized a two-point advantage in the second before Memphis countered with a late surge. Ziaire Williams capped that stretch by draining a trey and a mid-range jumper in the final minute to give the Grizzlies a 57-52 lead at halftime. –

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