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Saturday, August 01, 2020, 12:51
Blazers rally to defeat Grizzlies in OT, 140-135
By Reuters
Saturday, August 01, 2020, 12:51 By Reuters

Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard (0) shoots the ball against Memphis Grizzlies Brandon Clarke (15) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, July 31, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (MIKE EHRMANN / POOL PHOTO VIA AP)

CJ McCollum scored 33 points, Damian Lillard added 29 and the Portland Trail Blazers overwhelmed the Memphis Grizzlies in overtime Friday to win, 140-135, in the first Orlando-area seeding game for both teams.

Ja Morant led a breakaway off of a defensive rebound in the closing seconds, but got tangled with a defender and was unable to get off a shot

Portland (30-37) built a first-half lead then surged ahead 75-62 in the third quarter before a 22-6 Memphis run pushed the Grizzlies (32-34) ahead. The Trail Blazers played from behind for much of the fourth quarter, but remained within striking distance.

Two 3-pointers from Carmelo Anthony in the final 1:23 gave Portland the lead, including a 124-122 advantage with 37.5 seconds remaining. Brandon Clarke, who scored 21 points for Memphis off the bench, responded with a game-tying basket.

Ja Morant led a breakaway off of a defensive rebound in the closing seconds, but got tangled with a defender and was unable to get off a shot.

Morant, the Grizzlies’ leading scorer on the season at just under 18 points per game, finished with 22 points Friday. He had only two points on 1-of-5 shooting at halftime, but came to life to lead the third-quarter run.

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Morant scored seven consecutive points over one stretch, capped with a spectacular dunk off a lob from Clarke. Morant returned the favor to Clarke in the fourth quarter with one of his 11 assists, but Clarke was hit with a technical foul on the ensuing celebration.

The technical marked a critical turning point. Memphis went ahead by seven points on the dunk, but Portland began a 12-4 run over the next 2:21. Neither team led by more than two points for the remainder of regulation.

That changed in overtime. McCollum knocked down a 3-pointer, followed immediately by another from Gary Trent Jr. for three of his 17 points off the bench. Trent went 4 of 5 from 3-point range for the game and McCollum went 3 of 6 on an afternoon in which the Trail Blazers went 13 of 30 from deep.

Jaren Jackson Jr., who matched McCollum’s game-high 33 points, went 6 of 15 from 3-point range. However, Memphis shot just 13 of 41 from outside as a team.

READ MORE: Hornets rout Grizzlies 140-79 behind Walker's 46 points

The Grizzlies came into the NBA bubble in the Orlando area with a 3 1/2-game lead for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoff race. Portland was one of three teams just behind Memphis for the final postseason berth.

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