McCollum has 25 points, Blazers beat Grizzlies 116-96

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 25 points, Damian Lillard added 20 and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 116-96 on Wednesday night.

Anfernee Simons had 17 points off the bench for the Blazers, who held Ja Morant to a season-low 17 points. Morant had averaged 35 points and eight assists through the Grizzlies’ first three games this season.

Desmond Bane had 19 points for the Grizzlies, who trailed by as many as 26 points in their second straight loss.

The Blazers were looking to rebound after a 116-86 loss at the Clippers on Monday night, which new Portland coach Chauncey Billups said was “embarrassing.”

Lillard has struggled, scoring just 17 points per game through the first three games after averaging more than 28 points last season. He’d made just two of 24 attempts from 3-point range. Lillard was 4 for 11 Wednesday.

But Lillard had 11 points in the third quarter alone as the Blazers outscored Memphis 36-20. McCollum’s 3-pointer in the fourth gave the Blazers a 98-77 lead. Lillard finished with 10 assists.

Billups sat his starters with the Blazers ahead 107-81 with just over 5 minutes left.

It was the third of a four-game road trip for Memphis, which was coming off a 121-118 loss at the Lakers on Sunday. Morant had 40 points and 10 assists in the loss.

Morant was scoreless against the Blazers until 5:44 left in the second quarter, when he hit a 3-pointer. He finished with 10 assists and nine rebounds.

The Grizzlies led by as many as eight points in the opening half. McCollum’s jumper closed the gap to 57-51 going into halftime.

The Blazers rallied in the third, pulling ahead 68-62 on McCollum’s jumper. Simons’ 3-pointer capped an 18-3 run to give Portland a 76-68 lead.

It was the first of four games between the teams this season.


Grizzlies: Memphis went 2-1 against the Blazers last season. … Guard Dillon Brooks, who played at the University of Oregon, remains out with a fracture in his left hand. … Bane led all players at the break with 15 points.

Trail Blazers: After 30 turnovers against the Clippers, most of any team since 2004, the Blazers had 13 against Memphis. … McCollum moved past Jerome Kersey for sixth on the Blazers’ career scoring list.


Grizzlies: Conclude their road trip on Thursday night at Golden State.

Trail Blazers: Host the Clippers on Friday night.


More AP NBA: and