Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers Pick & Prediction MARCH 2nd 2024

One night after the visiting Portland Trail Blazers ended a nine-game losing streak with a dominant win over the Grizzlies, the teams will meet again on Saturday in Memphis.

Dalano Banton scored a season-high 19 points, Jabari Walker also had 19 and Duop Reath added 18 in Portland’s 122-92 win over the Grizzlies on Friday. The Blazers led by as many as 33 points in the second half.

Jake LaRavia scored a career-high 21 points for Memphis, which has lost four straight and 13 of its past 15. The Grizzlies committed 23 turnovers and were outrebounded 46-30.

“They basically scored 80 points in the paint with free throws,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “There’s a lot to clean up. They played extremely well, and we didn’t have it. Played poorly.”

Both teams are playing short-handed due to multiple injuries. Portland won Friday’s matchup despite missing Scoot Henderson (left adductor strain), Malcolm Brogdon (right elbow tendinitis), Shaedon Sharpe (lower abdominal surgery), Robert Williams III (right knee surgery), and Deandre Ayton (right hand sprain).

Memphis’ extensive injury list includes Jaren Jackson Jr. (right quad tendon soreness), Derrick Rose (lower back soreness), Ja Morant (right shoulder surgery), Desmond Bane (left ankle sprain), Marcus Smart (right ring finger injury), Luke Kennard (illness) and John Konchar (left thumb sprain).

The many ailments have forced the Grizzlies to use a league-high 34 different starting lineups this season. Their home fans expressed their displeasure during the Friday game, when many headed to the exits well before the final buzzer.

“You see your fans leaving with like eight minutes left in the game, that really sticks with us as players,” Memphis forward GG Jackson said. “They want to come see us play. And that’s kind of like them slapping us in our faces like, ‘We don’t want to see you play.’ We’ve got to change that.”

Memphis will look to bounce back against a Portland team that had six players score in double figures on Friday. The Blazers took control in the third quarter, when they shot 78.9 percent from the field and outscored Memphis 40-27.

“We did it together,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “It’s just good to kind of get that monkey off your back, if you will. We’ve been playing so hard and I think we’ve been playing well. We just haven’t been able to come out with a victory for quite a while. So, it’s good for that to happen for us.”

Kris Murray scored 14 points for Portland, which has won just two of its 21 road games against Western Conference opponents this season.

Ayton sat out with an injury sustained in the Trail Blazers’ loss to the Miami Heat. He is listed as questionable for Saturday.

Ayton’s absence created playing time for backup center Moses Brown, who returned after missing 25 games with a left wrist injury and scored seven points in nine minutes off the bench.

“I thought Moses’ minutes were huge for us,” Billups said. “Just getting him back into the lineup, having that type of size and rebounding and (finishing) around the basket was good for us.”

–Field Level Media

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