Report Card: Grizzlies lose 4th quarter lead, and game, to Trailblazers

Feb 2, 2023 - 3:23 PM
Portland Trail Blazers v <a href=Memphis Grizzlies" src="" />
Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

For most of Tuesday’s matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Memphis Grizzlies seemed to be the more dominant team on the court. However, the end result would not indicate that assessment to be accurate.

It’s not that the Grizzlies lost 122-112 to a middling Portland team. That’s not the issue. It’s that the Grizzlies surrendered a lead to a Portland squad devoid of forward Jerami Grant, who didn’t play after halftime due to injury. Then, as only he can,Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard took over the game and closed out the Grizzlies.

On the bright side, there were some positive moments that occurred on the court for Memphis. Let’s get into some grades below.

Xavier Tillman- 4 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, +12,

I see why the Grizzlies are starting Xavier Tillman in the absence of big man Steven Adams. He’s the definition of a handyman, doing a little of everything for the Grizzlies. He was on the glass early and often for the Grizzlies, really providing a boost and helping the Grizzlies build up an early lead in the contest.

Tillman isn’t a fan favorite, and sometimes it’s easy to see why. However, when he’s on his game, he can be someone the Grizzlies can trust until the services of Adams are made available again.

Grade- B

Jaren Jackson Jr.- 18 points, 7 rebounds, 6 blocks, 9-14 FG, +1

JJJ and Tillman were the only players on the Grizzlies with a positive +/-, and it’s actually not surprising. Both players did the small things right, the things that do not always appear on a statsheet.

However, those 6 blocks by JJJ certainly were difference-makers, setting the tone at the rim. The main issue with Trip’s performance is that he didn’t connect on any three-pointers, but aside from that, he performed like he typically does at home–pretty well.

Grade- A

Ja Morant- 32 points, 9 rebounds, 12 assists, 13-18 FG, 3-7 3 PT, -6

One rebound away from a triple-double. That should tell you how Ja’s night went. He put up a usual Morantian game, and as the best player on the Memphis squad, he expects to do this.

One thing that stood out to me the most is that Morant played his best basketball against the best. Yes, Damian Lillard posted 42 points and the Trail Blazers won, but Ja didn’t shy away from the occasion and kept bringing it, regardless of whether the Grizzlies were in control or losing.

In spite of the loss, I can’t say Ja had a large part to do with it.

Grade- A+

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