BC-BKN--Grizzlies-Trail Blazers,1st Ld-Writethru
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Evan Turner had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists off the bench for his second consecutive triple-double and the Portland Trail Blazers reached 50 wins this season with a 116-89 victory over the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Damian Lillard came close to a triple-double, too, with 20 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, but he sat for the final quarter. Enes Kanter had 21 points and 15 rebounds for his third straight double-double.
The Blazers, now 50-28, continue to jockey for home-court advantage in the playoffs as the season winds to a close. Going into the game, Portland was holding on to fourth in the standings, two games up on the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference.
Chandler Parsons had 16 points off the bench to lead the Grizzlies (31-47), who have already been eliminated from playoff contention.
Turner had 13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on Monday for a 132-122 victory over the Timberwolves. It was his first triple-double with the Blazers.
After Turner got his ninth assist late in the fourth quarter against the Grizzlies, teammate Jake Layman appeared to shout “One more!” from the bench. He clinched the triple-double a short time later with an assist on Anfernee Simons’ 3-pointer with just under two minutes left. He added one more assist before heading to the bench.
Turner is the first Blazers player with back-to-back triple-doubles since Clyde Drexler in the 1989-90 season.
The Blazers led by as many as 29 points in the second half after trailing by as many as 10 in the first.
The Grizzlies had just 10 players available for the game, and none of the team’s regular starters were available. Both Mike Conley, the team’s leading scorer with an average of 21 points, and center Joakim Noah were ruled out, coach J.B. Bickerstaff said before the game.
The team this weekend signed Dusty Hannahs to a 10-day contract under league’s hardship rules to help, given the spate of injuries.
Portland is also dealing with injuries. C.J. McCollum remained out with a left knee strain. McCollum worked out before the game and is expected to travel with the team to Denver on Friday, but it’s unknown if he’ll be back in the regular season.
The Blazers already lost center Jusuf Nurkic for the season because of a broken leg. Kanter has started five games for Portland in his place.
The Grizzlies took a 38-28 lead in the first half on Bruno Caboclo’s long jumper and the Blazers looked confounded by Memphis’ zone defense.
Portland closed the gap and tied the game at 56 on Seth Curry’s 3-pointer, before Lillard lofted a buzzer-beating jumper to go up 62-58 at the half. Lillard led all players with 14 points at the break.
Portland pulled away in the second half, pushing the lead to 82-66 on Kanter’s layup.
Grizzlies: Rumors abound that Grizzlies assistant Jerry Stackhouse is in the running for the job as head coach of Vanderbilt. ... Conley was out with left ankle soreness and Noah had right knee soreness, according to the team.
Trail Blazers: The Blazers had split their previous 10 games with Memphis. ... Lillard went over 2,000 overall points for the season in the second half. He’s the first Blazer to have 2,000 points and 500 assists in the same season.
Grizzlies: At Dallas on Friday night.
Trail Blazers: At Denver on Friday night.