Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph power Grizzlies past Blazers
Portland, OR, United States (4E Sports) – Marc Gasol fired 20 points and Zach Randolph added 19 points and 10 boards in his return from a four-game absence due to sprained ankle to carry the Memphis Grizzlies to a 102-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday at Rose Garden.
Mike Conley added 14 points and 15 assists, Ed Davis chipped in 14 points and nine boards off the bench and Tony Allen had 12 as the Grizzlies made all of their last eight foul shots to improve to 13-1 in their last 14 games.
“We played hard all night and controlled the game. We made some not-so-smart plays down the stretch, fouling guys when we shouldn’t have. But we made enough free throws and made enough plays. It was a nice win against a very tough ballclub that wouldn’t quit,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said after the win.
Memphis shot 51 percent from the field and held a large advantage in points in the paint (52-40) and fast-break points (17-6). The Grizzlies shot 51.3 percent from the field while the Blazers only made 40.5 percent of their shots.
LaMarcus Aldridge recorded for 28 points and 10 rebounds while Damian Lillard collected 27 points and seven assists for Portland (29-34), which lost for the third time in four games.
The loss dropped the Blazers to 11th place in the Western Conference standings, four games behind eighth placer Los Angeles Lakers, with nine regular-season games left on their schedule.
“That door is closing. We have to put some wins together fast. If we don’t, that door will close on us,” Aldridge said on the Blazers’ fading playoff hopes.
Randolph made an 18-foot jumper to put the Grizzlies ahead by 70-58 early in the fourth period.
However, the Blazers answered with a 7-1 run powered by four points from Aldridge to cut the deficit to 71-65.
The Grizzlies then retaliated with an 8-2 run sparked by a three-pointer by Jerryd Bayless for a 79-67 advantage.
Portland came within three, 100-97, after three foul shots by Eric Maynor with two seconds left but Bayless iced the win with two charities.