But after a humbling loss to the Nets, the Grizzlies are winners
of three straight and their 109-99 victory over the Portland Trail
Blazers on Tuesday night at FedExForum was also their third
consecutive complete effort.
"We were feeling good about ourselves, a little too loose," point
guard Mike Conley (17 points) said of their approach at Brooklyn.
The Grizzlies (37-26) are a season-best 11 games over .500 and they
also own a season-high seven-game home winning streak.
"Gotta take care of home," said power forward Zach Randolph, who
scored 18 points (8-for-19) with 12 rebounds for his 38th
double-double of the season.
Memphis shot a season-high 56 percent from the floor (47-for-84) and
the big guys were a major part of it. Center Marc Gasol scored 19
points (8-for-14 from the floor) with nine rebounds and seven
In fact, the Grizzlies shot better than 50 percent in every quarter
and made 12-of-19 shots (63.2 percent) in the second quarter. Their
fourth-quarter lead was never less than nine points.
"They can really, really score," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said of
the Trail Blazers. "It was big for us to be able to play from the
lead and just keep holding them off."
Portland (42-22) lost its third game in a row despite a game-high 32
points and seven assists from point guard Damian Lillard. He scored
21 in the second half.
"I thought we played hard," Lillard said. "They would just get a
tipped ball or a loose ball and they would hit a three with it ...
or they would tap it and we end up scrambling for the ball. Then
they get a bucket. It was just too many of those situations
The Trail Blazers shot 40.7 percent (35-for-86) and though forward
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 19 points with 10 rebounds, he was just
8-for-23 from the field. Forward Nicolas Batum had 15 points and
"Defensively, we did a good job," Gasol said. "We did a really good
job on LaMarcus Aldridge by making every shot tough and being
physical with him."
"It was one of those nights," said Aldridge. "I made (shots) off and
on. I got to the basket better than I have all season. I just had
looks that I didn't make tonight."
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Shooting guard Courtney Lee (16 points) scored 13 of the
Grizzlies' 24 third-quarter points. Memphis led 78-69 at the start
of the fourth after having stretched the lead to as many as 15
points in the third quarter.
The Grizzlies got the lead back to 15 points several times and
Portland never got closer than nine points in the fourth quarter,
the last time at the 1:14 mark when center Robin Lopez made a free
Back-up point guard Nick Calathes had seven points with a
career-high nine assists for the Grizzlies and Mike Miller chipped
in 14 points off the bench.
The Grizzlies moved one game ahead of Phoenix for the eighth and
final playoff spot in the Western Conference. It has taken a long
time for them to get to this point, but Lee says they are still in
"The mentality's still the same," Lee said. "We want to go higher
(in the standings). We're still chasing."
NOTES: Not normally known for 3-point shooting, the Grizzlies were
first in the NBA since the All-Star break at 44.6 percent. Veteran
G/F Mike Miller was shooting 44.6 percent from 3-point range for the
season (fifth in the NBA) and 60.6 percent from beyond the arc since
the All-Star break. ... Portland G Wesley Matthews, G Damian Lillard
and F Nicolas Batum have combined for 432 3-pointers this season,
more than eight NBA teams have made all season. That includes the
Grizzlies (315). ... The Trail Blazers had the same starting lineup
through the first 53 games this season, tied for the sixth longest
streak in a season in NBA history. Portland has had only two
different starting lineups during the course of the season. ...
Memphis SF Tayshaun Prince had started 821 games since the start of
the 2003-04 season, second in the NBA behind LeBron James.
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