The Blazers dropped two games against the Grizzlies over the weekend and to say the games were chippy would be an understatement.
Both teams were talking back and forth from the jump, and a lot of that talking was coming for former Oregon Ducks star Dillon Brooks.
Whether on the floor or from the bench, Brooks was chirping.
Brooks had reason to talk. His Grizzlies came into Moda Center and grabbed two wins over the Blazers, with one more on the schedule. After Sunday's win, Brooks told the media Memphis was looking for the sweep.
"These games meant a lot...I don’t think they thought we remembered what happened in the bubble. We are trying to sweep these guys and keep pushing forward.”
We are trying to sweep these guys. Those words stood out, and they did not fall on deaf ears when they reached the Trail Blazers locker room.
On Wednesday the Blazers were looking for their revenge. Portland jumped out to a big lead against Memphis, grabbing a 74-46 lead by halftime. They kept the lead steady and picked up the 130-109 victory.
After the game, Trail Blazers guard Norman Powell made sure to let the world know that the Blazers heard Brooks loud and clear.
"We saw the quote that Dillon Brooks put out about wanting to sweep us," Powell told Brooke Olzendam in the postgame interview. "We couldn't allow that to happen."
They didn't allow it to happen.
Powell scored 24 points, CJ McCollum scored 26, Damian Lillard scored 24, and Carmelo Anthony added 18 in the victory, but it wasn't all about offense. The Blazers' defense ramped up as well, holding Grizzlies star Ja Morant to 10 points and Brooks to 18.
In the postgame presser, McCollum echoed Powell.
"Some of those younger guys they don't know no better," said McCollum. "They were excited. They played hard. They competed and they kicked our ass, so they had a right to talk and say some of the things they said and do some of the things they did and we came on their court and kicked their ass."
Now, you can't fault Brooks' confidence and swagger. Like he said, they remembered what happened in the bubble when Portland beat Memphis in the play-in game to go to the playoffs. Brooks and the Grizzlies were just looking for a little redemption. But any good coach will tell you, "never give the opposing team bulletin board material."
Dillon Brooks, well, he didn't heed that warning and put it all right out in the open for the Blazers to see.
On their trip to Memphis, they made sure to let him know they received it by sending one of their own.