Entering the game today, the Grizzlies were one of the Western Conference elite teams, especially on their home court. The Blazers were able to gut out a win in a game in which Memphis forward Zach Randolph was out with “flu-like symptoms.”
The Blazers trailed by 1 at the end of the first period and 3 at the half, but were able to tie it up at 72 entering the final quarter. With 38.9 seconds remaining and the Blazers leading by 1, 85-84, Aldridge missed a turn around jumper, and both Batum and Hickson put-backs were no good. The Grizzlies corralled the rebound but Mike Conley missed a lay-up and Batum gathered the rebound. With 2.1 seconds left, Aldridge was fouled by Speights, and made the second of the two free-throws, putting Portland up 86-84. The Grizzlies had a chance to tie or win with a 3-point field goal, but Rudy Gay missed a free-throw line jumper.
Wesley Matthews led the Blazers in scoring with 21 points, including 5 3-pointers. JJ Hickson continued his double-double ways with 19 points and 11 rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge also recorded a double-double with 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Nicolas Batum had 11 points and 5 rebounds, and Damian Lillard had 11 points and 8 assists. Off the bench, the Blazers got 5 points from Luke Babbitt and 4 from Will Barton.
The final: Portland Trail Blazers 86, Memphis Grizzlies 84
Until next time,