CJ McCollum scored 12 of his 29 points on Saturday afternoon in the fourth quarter and helped the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 126-122 in the Western Conference play-in game near Orlando.
The win allowed the Trail Blazers to secure eighth and final place in the Western Playoffs and to play a best-of-seven series in the first round against the best-staffed Los Angeles Lakers starting Tuesday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The defeat ended the season for Memphis, who finished eighth at the start of the restart, but then lost six out of eight before losing on Saturday.
Damian Lillard had 31 points to speed up the Trail Blazers, who used 19 more free-throw opportunities to beat the Grizzlies 35-18 at the foul line. Lillard did a double-double with ten assists.
Jusuf Nurkic scored 22 points and 21 rebounds for Portland, while Carmelo Anthony was a fourth TrailBlazer with 20 or more points and scored 21 points.
Yes, Morant and Jonas Valanciunas went ahead to Memphis. Morant aimed for a high of 35 points to add eight assists, while Valanciunas contributed 22 points and 17 rebounds.
McCollum scored eight points in the final with 3:08 when the Trail Blazers ended the win.
After Portland took a 30-14 lead in more than 10 minutes, the Grizzlies were able to beat the Trail Blazers by a majority for the next three quarters.
Memphis rose three in the second half and six in the third, and held the lead until McCollum bombarded a 3-hand for a draw at 111 with a 3:08 lead.
Nurkic followed 29 seconds later with a three-pointer to give the Trail Blazers a lead they never gave up, and McCollum helped fill the advantage with another three-pointer and a two-point shot.
Led by Morant and Valanciunas, the Grizzlies clung to 42.8 seconds within 119 to 116 minutes, but Anthony buried what was arguably his most important shot since moving to Portland in the season, a three-pointer that doubled the advantage to six in just 21.0 seconds.
Brandon Clarke and Dillon Brooks added 20 points each, and Kyle Anderson had 10 for Memphis, taking Portland 48.9 per cent to 45.2.
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Reference: Yahoo Sports