The Portland Trail Blazers have secured the 8th seed in the Western Conference of the NBA Playoffs, after an emotional victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in a play-in game, Saturday.

Trail Blazers, Grizzlies, PlayoffsKevin C. Cox / Getty Images

Trailing for most of the game, the Blazers rallied late in the fourth quarter to overcome the energized Grizzlies team. C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic turned in tremendous performances to take the weight off of star point guard Damian Lillard’s shoulders. On the other side, rookie Ja Morant showed he has a bright future in the NBA with an impressive night.

“I was thinking I want to play again tomorrow,” McCollum told ESPN after the game. His late-game buckets secured the win for the Trail Blazers. “We had to get this done tonight, (and) make sure we came in and finished them off. We’re thankful to be in a position to be able to make the playoffs, and we didn’t want to squander an opportunity.”

It was an emotional night for the team, as Nurkic announced that his grandmother passed before tip-off, after battling with the coronavirus.

“Obviously, it’s emotional,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “I couldn’t be more proud of him; as it’s very difficult, been hanging over his head for a while. There was never talk of not playing.”

The Blazers will play the Los Angles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.

[Via