MEMPHIS, Tenn. — CJ McCollum had 26 points and six assists, and Norman Powell added 24 points, helping the Portland Trail Blazers solidify their hold on seventh place in the West with a 130-109 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Damian Lillard finished with 23 points and Carmelo Anthony scored 18 as Portland moved two games ahead of Memphis and San Antonio, which lost 116-111 at Miami on Wednesday night.
Jonas Valancuinas led Memphis with 19 points, and Dillon Brooks had 18. Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 13 points and Ja Morant added 10 points and eight assists, but was 3 of 11 from the field as the Grizzlies lost their second straight.
The Grizzlies made a slight dent in what was once a 33-point lead in the first half, getting the deficit to 17 in the third quarter, but Portland was really never threatened after halftime. By the midway point of the fourth, Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins took out his starters.
The game was the third in six days between the teams maneuvering for the postseason play-in positioning with hopes of possibly moving into the Western Conference's top six seeds.
While the previous two games were close, with Memphis wining both last weekend in Portland, this one got away from Memphis early.
The Trail Blazers came out with accurate shooting, particularly from Lillard, McCollum and Powell, who combined to go 18 of 27 from the field in the first half. Portland was still shooting about 55% in the second quarter as it built the lead to as many as 33 points.
Meanwhile, the Portland defense forced Memphis into poor shots and out-of-sync offense. The Grizzlies struggled to shoot better than 35%.
That was a recipe for a 74-46 Portland lead at the break, matching the most points by a Memphis opponent in a first half. The Trail Blazers never lost control after that.
Trail Blazers: Announced earlier Wednesday that they have signed F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson for the remainder of the season. … Had lost four straight road games in the series, and had not won at FedExForum since Nov. 20, 2017. … McCollum made eight of his nine shots in the first half.
Grizzlies: G Grayson Allen left the game in the first quarter with a left hand injury. He returned in the second quarter. … Justise Winslow recorded his 100th career block in the first quarter. … Indiana scored 74 points against the Grizzlies in the first half on April 11.
Trail Blazers: Continue a six-game road stretch on Friday, facing the Brooklyn Nets.
Grizzlies: Host the Orlando Magic on Friday in the first of a back-to-back, home-and-home series between the teams.
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