Blazers outlast Grizzlies for second win on trip
MEMPHIS The Trail Blazers scored only 14 points in the fourth quarter, but it was enough to pull out an 86-84 victory over Memphis Friday night at FedEx Forum.
It was the second win for Portland (17-15) in three games on this four-game road trip, which concludes Saturday night at Minnesota.
Wesley Matthews led all five Portland starters in double figures with 21 points while J.J. Hickson contributed 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Marreese Speights starting for power forward Zach Randolph, who sat out the game with the flu had 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies (20-10).
Marreese is a great player, but he didnt do enough to get the win, so its all right, Hickson said. We knew it was going to be a mans game tonight. We came ready to play.
The Blazers held Memphis to 12 fourth-quarter points after the teams entered the final period locked in a 72-72 tie.
Nicolas Batum sank a 3-pointer to give Portland an 83-80 lead with 3:30 remaining. Rudy Gays jump hook his only points in the second half cut the margin to 83-82 with 3:08 left. Hickson made two free throws with 2:01 remaining to hike Portlands edge to 85-82. Speights answered with a pair of gift shots to trim the lead to 85-84 with 53.5 seconds to go.
After LaMarcus Aldridge missed a fadeaway jumper, Gay failed on a baseline attempt at the other end. The Grizzlies rebounded but Mike Conleys layup fell off and in the scramble for the rebound, Batum threw the ball off Conleys leg and out of bounds with 3.1 seconds on the clock.
Aldridge was fouled on the in-bound pass and made 1 of 2 foul shots to make it 86-84 with 2.1 ticks left.
After a timeout, Gay missed a jumper from the top of the key at the buzzer.
Gay had 17 points and seven rebounds as Memphis, using a 30-20 advantage in points in the paint, took a 50-47 lead into halftime.
Hickson collected 10 points and seven boards and Matthews contributed 10 points for Portland in the half.
Memphis started cold, making 2 of its first 10 shots, and still trailed only 9-8. The Grizzlies led 25-24 after one quarter and used a 9-0 run to go on top 38-32. They were ahead 46-38 when the Blazers went on a 9-0 tear to seize a 47-46 lead before Memphis closed the half with the final four points.
Matthews scored 11 points in the third quarter, but Speights outdid him with 14 points in the quarter as the teams went into the final period in a 72-72 deadlock.
Now the Blazers have a chance to go 3-1 on a trip in which some felt a 1-3 mark would be more likely.
Thats what the naysayers are for, Hickson said. Were trying to be a no-excuse team. Well be ready to play again.
NOTES Portland is 8-2 in games decided by six points or fewer. Memphis is 0-6 in games decided by five points or fewer ... It was Hicksons 19th double-double, putting him three behind Randolph for the league lead. ... Aldridge finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots but made only 5 of 15 shots from the field. ... Portlands Damian Lillard had 11 points, eight assists and five rebounds but also had five turnovers and was 5 for 14 from the field. The rookie point guard had seven giveaways in Wednesdays loss at Toronto. ... Matthews was 5 for 8 on 3-point attempts. Portland was 10 for 27 from beyond the stripe to Memphis 2 for 5. ... Portland rookie Meyers Leonard missed his third straight game with a sprained ankle. ... Memphis Marc Gasol had 12 points, six rebounds and eight blocks six in the first quarter. ... ... Portland won despite shooting .407 from the field. Memphis shot at a .395 clip. ... Memphis was 18 for 18 from the foul line to Portlands 10 for 15. ... The Blazers had 10 of their 15 turnovers in the first half. ... The Grizzlies are 13-4 at home. The Blazers are 6-11 on the road.