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Jerami Grant haunts old team as Blazers down Pistons

Jan 2, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Detroit Pistons center Jalen Duren (0) fights for a rebound against Portland Trail Blazers forward Drew Eubanks (24) and guard Josh Hart (11) at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Jerami Grant poured in 36 points in 28 minutes against his former team and the host Portland Trail Blazers rolled to a 135-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night.

Grant, who made 12 of 17 field goal attempts, was facing the Pistons for the first time since they traded him during the offseason. Anfernee Simons supplied 30 points, while Damian Lillard contributed 19 points and 10 assists.

Drew Eubanks tossed in 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who took the lead for good late in the first half.

Gary Payton II made his Portland debut and added seven points and four assists. Payton, who was signed as a free agent, underwent core muscle surgery during the offseason.

Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pistons with 21 points. Alec Burks had 19 points and Hamidou Diallo added 16.

Detroit guard Killian Hayes served the final game of a three-game, league-imposed suspension for striking Orlando’s Moritz Wagner from behind last week. Marvin Bagley III suffered a hand injury during the first half and did not return.

The Pistons led by six with three minutes to go in the first half but the Trail Blazers finished it with a 15-0 outburst to take a 61-52 halftime lead. Simons started it off with a basket and then assisted on the next two — dunks by Eubanks and Grant.

Grant also drained two 3-pointers during that span, sandwiching Eubanks’ three-point play. Grant finished the half with 19 points, while Bogdanovic led a trio of Detroit players in double figures with 11 points.

Portland also scored the first five points of the second half — a Lillard layup and another Grant 3-pointer — before Bogdanovic ended Detroit’s drought with a layup.

The Trail Blazers soon went on a 12-0 run that included two Simons 3-pointers and a four-point play from Grant. That increased the lead to 19 at 78-59 with 7:33 left in the third. A Lillard three-point play with 4:37 left in the quarter increased Portland’s advantage to 21 points.

Portland’s lead reached 30 points with four minutes left in the game on a Eubanks free throw, and peaked at 34 points with 2:10 to play.

–Field Level Media