Brandon Clarke 27 points vs. Trail Blazers 2.12.20
MEMvPOR: playlist 2.12.20
Postgame Report: Grizzlies head into the All-Star break with 111-104 victory over Portland
Key Stat of the Night
- The Grizzlies, who entered the game as the NBA leaders in points in the paint (56.7), outscored the Trail Blazers 76-34 in the category tonight, tying a season high (other: Jan. 28 vs. Denver). Memphis recorded at least 70 points in the paint for the sixth time this season and was just two points shy of tying the single-game franchise record of 78, set on Feb. 26, 2011 vs. Sacramento.
Key Run of the Night
- Portland scored nine straight points to cut an 11-point Memphis lead to two (65-63) with 23.3 seconds left in the first half. However, the Grizzlies scored the final two points before halftime and the first seven points of the third quarter to go back up by 11 (74-63).
The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 111-104 inside FedExForum on Wednesday night. Memphis heads into the All-Star break having won 13 of their last 15 games on their home floor.
The Grizzlies, who entered the game as the NBA leaders in points in the paint (56.7), outscored the Trail Blazers 76-34 in the paint tonight, tying a season high (other: Jan. 28 vs. Denver). The Grizzlies used a 20-6 run to grab a 31-24 lead with 0:47 remaining in the first period following a layup from Brandon Clarke. The lead changed eight times in the first quarter before the Grizzlies would hold the lead for the rest of the night. Portland was able to end the first half on a 9-1 run as they trimmed the lead down to just four points (67-63) heading into the locker room.
Memphis would use strong defense the rest of the way as they limited Portland to 41 points in the second half on only 29.8 percent shooting. The Grizzlies reached their largest lead of the night at 106-92 as Ja Morant connected on a jump shot with 4:20 remaining in the game. Portland was able cut the lead in half, but never trailed by fewer than seven as the Grizzlies held on to win their second consecutive game heading into the All-Star Break. The Grizzlies bench proved to be huge as they outscored the Trail Blazers second-unit 54-28 on the night. Clarke led the way for Memphis’ second-unit scoring a career-high tying 27 points off the bench.
Clarke finished the night 12-of-14 from the field to go along with six rebounds and a block as he posted his third career 20-point game. Morant totaled 20 points while adding nine assists and five rebounds in 32 minutes. Jonas Valanciunas posted a double-double with 12 points, 18 rebounds and three blocked shots. De’Anthony Melton added 12 points, four rebounds and four assists of the bench as the Grizzlies improved to 28-26 on the season.
CJ McCollum led the way for Portland with 23 points, five assists and three rebounds as Memphis limited him to 9-of-25 from the field. Anfernee Simons totaled 22 off the bench for the Trail Blazers while adding seven rebounds in 28 minutes. Damian Lillard posted a double-double with 20 points, 10 assists and five rebounds on 7-of-19 shooting. Hassan Whiteside posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Trail Blazers fell to 25-31 on the year.
Jaren Jackson Jr., Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke will participate in the 2020 NBA Rising Stars game Friday, February 14 at 8 p.m. at United Center in Chicago. The Grizzlies will return to action in Sacramento as they visit the Kings on Thursday, February 20 at 9 p.m. at Golden 1 Center.
On the game:Great win for us. I’m really proud of the guys. We have been talking a lot recently how defense has to be a focus. You go up against the most efficient offense in the league, the last five games averaging close to 120 points a night. We were just trading baskets in that first half and we were fortunate to have a four-point lead at half time. The guys, their game discipline, their activity, what our smalls were doing on Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum to make them take a lot of shots to get their points. Our bigs, their discipline to be up and to kind of create some havoc at the three-point line but also be disciplined to get back and still be active at the rim. Our scramble mentality. Obviously, Anfernee Simons had a heck of a game. For the most part, in that second half, holding them to 19 points (in the third) and 22 in that fourth quarter was huge for us. It created some separation. Our defensive activity was at an all-time high for that game going into break. That was great momentum. I just keep challenging our guys to find a way come post all-star break to keep getting better one day at a time. Everything is going to get more intense. This was a great step in the right direction for us against a really good team.
On getting to the paint:It is a mentality that we have had since day one. We got in the paint a variety of ways. Obviously, our defense leads to our transition offense and we are an unselfish team we get it up we kick it ahead. We’re finding lobs, we’re finding kick outs for threes. Then in our motion based offense just being in that drive mentality, whether it is off of that or a pick and roll. So it is a variety of different ways of how our offense is built. Obviously, we have been struggling shooting the three ball for a while now, and hopefully we just keep working and we continue to click, and you just have better bounces. I say it all the time if we can only make six threes, but we can make 70 points in the paint, hopefully that leads to a victory for us.
On what this win means for the Grizzlies:It means a lot especially going into the break. Playing against a team we’re fighting for the eighth spot with around this time. It’s a big win for us and especially on our home court.
On building a lead and continuing it:We know teams are going to go on a run. We all talk when that team goes on a run. We know exactly what we have to do. I think we gave up 50-plus in the first half. We just tried to string together some stops. I think we held them to like 19 in the third and I think 20 or 22, something like that in the fourth. We’ve just got to get stops on a great team like that and going on the other end and getting good shots.
On if Ja Morant will be asked to fill Damian Lillard’s spot in the All-Star Game:He’s very, very deserving of that spot. He’s been doing everything this year, so for his name to even be a possible choice for that, it’s really cool.
On what got him going in tonight’s game:Energy really. It’s just what I try to bring every night and my teammates did a really good job of finding me tonight. They made my job very easy. I just kind of had to run to the rim and jump up. I’m just really grateful for Tyus (Jones), Ja (Morant), Josh (Jackson) and (De’Anthony Melton). They did a really good job tonight.
- Brandon Clarke registered a career-high tying 27 points, his third career 20-point game. Clarke, who shot 12-of-14 from the field, is on pace to set an NBA record for field goal percentage (.623) by a rookie qualified for the NBA’s field goal percentage leaderboard (record: Steve Johnson, .613 for Kansas City in 1981-82).
- Ja Morant posted 20 points, five rebounds and nine assists. Morant was coming off his first career triple-double with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists on Feb. 9 at Washington, which is the only triple-double recorded by a rookie this season.
- Jaren Jackson Jr., Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke will participate in the 2020 NBA Rising Stars on Friday, Feb. 14 in Chicago. Jackson Jr. and Morant will represent the U.S. Team against the World team, featuring Clarke.
- Jonas Valanciunas piled up 12 points and 18 rebounds, his second straight game with 18 boards.
- Memphis improved to 8-1 this season in Kyle Anderson’s nine starts.
- Gorgui Dieng totaled seven points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block in 13 minutes in his Grizzlies debut. The Grizzlies acquired Dieng on Feb. 6 from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a three-team trade also involving the Miami Heat.
Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2019-20 Season Tickets can do so by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com. Single Game Tickets are available for purchase at the FedExForum Box Office, ticketmaster.com, online at grizzlies.com or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX.