The Memphis Grizzlies are eying the 2nd round playoffs spot to lock horns with the Golden State Warriors, but their mission suffered a jolt on Monday as the Portland Trail Blazers managed to pull off their first win of the series to narrow the margin 3-1.
Point-guard Damian Lillard finally managed to guide the Trail Blazers home and overcome a 10-point deficit (80-70) in the last 8 minutes by scoring 12 points in the final quarter of Game 4. Trail Blazers won 99-92.
“We just wanted to give ourselves a chance to win tonight,” Lillard said after his side restored some pride after an abysmal start in the current series.
No team has managed to overturn a 0-3 deficit in the playoffs. Whether the Trail Blazers can make history is questionable, but at least they have managed to avoid a clean sweep and extend the series.
Mike Conley out with an injury meant the Grizzlies missed a key man upfront.
The Grizzlies came back strongly in the second half with a 16-2 score in the spell as the Trail Blazers missed their first 10 shots of the 3rd quarter. The Grizzlies were in a prime position to pull off the 4th complete sweep of this edition’s 1st round playoffs, 9 minutes from full time, but Lillard’s stand-out show with 32 points and seven assists and McCollum’s 18 point kept the Portland outfit afloat. The duo outscored the entire Grizzlies side in the final 12 minutes with a combined score of 19 points.
“He was terrific in the first half,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts showered praise on Leonard. “He made all of his shots, got some big rebounds and like I said, because he made shots, he was a threat.”