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Blazers End Losing Streak With Convincing Win In Memphis

After a futile February, the Portland Trail Blazers didn’t wait nearly as long into March before getting their first win of the month.

Six Trail Blazers finished in double figures as Portland blew past the Grizzlies in the second half to secure a 122-92 victory in front of a crowd of 15,493 Friday night at FedExForum in Memphis. 

“Just staying with what we’ve been trying to do,” said Trail Blazers guard/forward Dalano Banton. “Just trying to do the things that Coach Chauncey preaches to us in practice, preaches to us in film, and try to get it right or 48 minutes. And we were able to do this today.”

The Trail Blazers are now 16-42 overall and 7-22 on the road this season. The win, Portland’s first since January 31 and their first on the road since January 24, ends a nine-game losing streak.

Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field in the second quarter after a moribund first. However, Portland turned nine Memphis turnovers into 13 points while giving the ball away just once in the quarter. The result was Portland outscoring Memphis by 10 in the quarter to take a 51-45 lead into the half. 

Portland blew the game open in the third, scoring 40 points on 79 percent shooting from the field, 5-of-7 shooting from three and 5-of-5 shooting from the line. After a going 3-of-10 in the first half, Duop Reath posted 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 shooting from three for 12 points in eight third-quarter minutes.

 

While the Grizzlies shot better than 55 percent from both the field and three in the third, the Blazers used a 19-4 run from the end of the third through the first minute of the fourth to take a 96-74 lead. 

The Blazers, despite resting much of their regular rotation in anticipation for the rematch Saturday night, would coast to the win while going up as many as 33 in the fourth, led by 10 points on 4-5 shooting from Jabari Walker.  

Walker finished with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds to go with three steals, two assists and a block in 22 minutes. 

Banton, in his sixth game as a Trail Blazer after being acquired from Boston at the trade deadline, also had 19 points along with seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in 20 minutes. 

“Just trusting in my teammates, they put me in positions to be great,” said Banton. “I feel like just them trusting in me, me being able to make a read, make a play goes a long ways when you have the confidence of your teammates and your coaching staff.”

Reath went 8-of-16 from the field for 18 points, five rebounds, two blocks, two steals and an assist in 23 minutes. Matisse Thybulle went 5-of-10 for 13 points, three steals, three rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes. 

Kris Murray got another start, the fourth in his rookie season, and finished with a career-high 14 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals in 23 minutes. Jerami Grant rounded out Portland’s double-digit scorers with 10 points to go with five assists and two rebounds. 

Grizzlies forward Jake LaRavia led all scorers with 21 points in the losing effort. 

Next up, the Trail Blazers and Grizzlies go right back at Saturday night at FedExForum. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.