Dillon Brooks scored 17 of his 18 points in the second half, including eight over a critical late-game run, to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 120-113 defeat of the host Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.
Morant led all scorers with 28 points as the Grizzlies swept a back-to-back with Portland.
Memphis (31-28) held a 14-point lead early in the fourth quarter before Carmelo Anthony knocked down four 3-pointers in less than two minutes. Anthony, amid a 14-2 Portland run, barked at Brooks on the Grizzlies bench during a timeout.
Brooks responded by fueling Memphis’ own run of 17-4, following three made free throws with a 3-pointer. He capped the burst beating Damian Lillard off of a pump-fake, hung in the air and made a floater against contact, celebrating with an emphatic flex.
The fourth-quarter run proved decisive for Memphis in again beating Portland (32-28). The Grizzlies survived a 130-128 nail-biter over the Trail Blazers on Friday, and the two teams meet again Wednesday in Memphis.
The loss was the Trail Blazers’ fifth straight and ninth in the past 11 contests.
CJ McCollum scored 27 points for Portland while Lillard added 23 and Norman Powell had 17. Jusuf Nurkic — who scored a season-high 26 points in Friday’s loss — grabbed a season-high 19 rebounds to go with 16 points for Portland.
Though the 17-4 run pushed the Grizzlies lead back to double digits, Portland rallied to cut the deficit to three points in the final minute. Brooks came through again when Lillard, who finished with 23 points, attacked the rim on a fast break from Powell’s steal of Grayson Allen.
Brooks chased down the play and blocked Lillard’s reverse layup attempt with 35.2 seconds remaining. Morant made a steal on the ensuing inbounds pass.
Morant iced the win with four made free throws down the stretch. Jonas Valanciunas recorded a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds and Kyle Anderson added 16 points.
With the back-to-back wins in Portland, Memphis owns a potential tiebreaker between the teams in the Western Conference playoff race.
–Field Level Media