Grizzlies give away big lead, but recover to beat Blazers
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Zach Randolph had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Beno Udrih added 17 points, including two key buckets in the final minute, and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 102-98 on Saturday night.
Memphis won its fourth straight and led by as many as 20 in the second half. But it saw the lead dwindle to 95-93 when Damian Lillard connected on a 3-pointer with 1:06 left. Udrih’s 20-footer as the shot clock expired on the next possession helped Memphis maintain the lead.
Lillard connected on another 3-pointer with 27 seconds left, but Udrih made a 22-footer at 8.7 seconds for the win.
Jeff Green and Courtney Lee matched Udrih’s 17 points, and Marc Gasol finished with 15.
LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 32 points, 18 in the second half, while Wesley Matthews finished with 25 points. Damian Lillard, who struggled through three quarters, scored 23, including 10 in the fourth as Portland made its comeback.
The loss gave Portland its first three-game losing streak this season.
Memphis won the paint, but didn’t dominate as they have in recent games, holding a 38-32 advantage. Meanwhile, Portland committed only seven turnovers in the game, but was slowed by shooting 39 percent, including 13 of 36 from outside the arc. Lillard went 3 of 10.
Portland also only converted a third of its shots through much of the first three quarters. That allowed Memphis to extend the lead to 20.
Aldridge tried to carry the Trail Blazers through the third, scoring eight points. But it was consecutive 3-pointers from Steve Blake and Matthews that brought Portland within 78-70 at the end of the quarter.
Matthews and Aldridge keyed a 12-2 rally in the middle of the fourth. Matthews’ second 3-pointer in the period pulled the Trail Blazers within 86-84 with 5:17 left.
Aldridge backed down whatever defender the Grizzlies rotated to him. That opened the outside shooting for the Trail Blazers, and Lillard’s long-range jumper with 1:06 left pulled Portland within 95-93.
Portland got no closer thanks to Udrih’s baskets — both coming late in the shot clock.
Memphis shot better than 60 percent from the field for most of the first half and carried a 60-42 lead into the break. Randolph already had his fourth straight double-double since returning from a knee injury with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Trail Blazers: Nicolas Batum scored three points, and has reached double figures only once in the last seven games. …Portland has lost seven of the last eight games against Memphis. …After Portland’s leading three scorers, no other player had more than five points.
Grizzlies: Memphis hit 12 of 16 shots in the first quarter. …Former Grizzly Shane Battier, part of the announcing crew for the afternoon University of Memphis and Central Florida game, attended the game and tried to sneak onto the floor for a shooting contest during a timeout. …Randolph grabbed his eighth rebound of the game in the second quarter, passing Pau Gasol as the top rebounder in Grizzlies franchise history.
Trail Blazers: Host Kings on Monday
Grizzlies: Host Mavericks on Monday