Blazers take down Grizzlies for third straight win
A second half burst and a stronger defensive effort sent the Portland Trail Blazers off to a good start on their five-game road trip.
Brandon Roy scored 20 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points and 12 rebounds, and the Trail Blazers won their third straight with a 93-79 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.
"This means a lot for us as far as momentum goes, and as far as chemistry goes," Aldridge said of starting a stretch where Portland plays five games in seven days. "I think we did a great job of making our chemistry better."
Steve Blake and Greg Oden had 14 points each for Portland, all of Oden's coming in the second half.
Marc Gasol led Memphis with 20 points, while O.J. Mayo scored 17.
The Grizzlies, who dropped their sixth straight, still were without guard Allen Iverson, who left the team last weekend, with owner Michael Heisley's blessing, after playing three games on the West Coast.
Memphis center Hasheem Thabeet, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft, suffered a fractured jaw late in the first quarter when he collided with the head of teammate Zach Randolph (11 points, 12 rebounds).
The Trail Blazers have now won eight straight in the series.
Portland broke open the game with a 14-1 run in the third period erasing a Memphis lead. The Grizzlies never really threatened after Portland rebuilt the lead to double digits on Oden's dunk with 10 minutes left in the game. Oden, who was in foul trouble in the first half, made a difference after intermission.
"I was only in there about 4 minutes," Oden said of the first half, "so there wasn't enough time for me to establish myself. I think guys kept looking for me, and I'm thankful for that."
Randolph's layup with 13.6 seconds left in the half tied the game at 45.