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Staff report: Grizzlies win with big edge in paint; Lillard limps off with strained groin

The Memphis Grizzlies extended their lead over the Trail Blazers to four games in the NBA standings, beating Portland 111-104 Wednesday night at Memphis in a getaway game to the All-Star break.

Damian Lillard scored 20 points for the Blazers, but limped off the court late in the game, after holding his groin injury after an awkward landing on a drive.

Portland coach Terry Stotts said Lillard strained his right groin and will have an MRI on Thursday.

CJ McCollum (23 points) and sub Anfernee Simons (22) were Portland's top scorers in a guard-heavy attack, with Simons nailing 6 of 7 shots from 3-point range.

Brandon Clarke came off the bench for Memphis and led all scorers with 27 points, matching his career high.

Portland fell to 25-31 with its second loss in a row and in as many nights on the road.

Memphis raised its record to 28-26 before the crowd of 16,889. The Grizzlies are eighth and the Blazers ninth in the Western Conference, as they battle with San Antonio, New Orleans and others for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Lillard was 7 of 19 from the field and 2 of 7 from beyond the arc in 36 minutes at FedExForum.

Power forward Carmelo Anthony had a Blazers-high 15 rebounds but was 1 of 15 from the floor, including 0 of 4 from 3-point distance, and scored just five points.

Center Hassan Whitewide had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Portland. He drew two technical fouls, the second with 19 seconds left in the game.

For Memphis, guard Ja Morant had 20 points, despite going 0 for 5 on 3's, with nine assists and five rebounds.

Former Oregon Ducks standout Dillon Brooks had 11 points as the Grizzlies' starting shooting guard.

Center Jonas Valanciunas grabbed 18 rebounds for the Grizzlies.

In the paint, Memphis outscored Portland 76-34, getting lots of points on lobs and 21 on second chances to 15 for the Blazers.


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