Found March 07, 2013 on
Fox Sports Tennessee:
Portland Trail Blazers
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- It took a near-perfect February for the Memphis Grizzlies to stay teetering on the fourth spot in the Western Conference.
One bad loss and it would have felt Wednesday night like the city had fallen into the Mississippi River, floating out of playoff contention.
A strong second half against visiting Portland prevented that and Memphis beat the Blazers 91-85 at FedExForum.
The Grizzlies went 9-2 in February and entered Wednesday winners of 9 of their last 10 games. But they had only a one-game lead on Denver for the fourth spot and still trailed the Clippers by two games. The Clippers had won eight of their last 10, Denver 7 of 10.
"We understand that the West is loaded and we've understood that from day one," point guard Mike Conley said. "We're almost to the point where we're like Man, we might need to win 60 games in order to stay where we're at.'"
It was a hobbling Memphis (40-19) team. Ed Davis drew his first start with Zach Randolph benched by a sprained ankle. Jon Leuer was the backup with Darrell Arthur suffering from neck and back spasms. Dexter Pittman got his first 3 minutes, 28 seconds of playing time.
Randolph and Arthur had plenty of time to stare of the standings board at the entrance of the Grizzlies locker room. Conley said it's tough not to pay attention to the standings.
"It's tempting, man. It's tempting," he said. "We know how close it is. We have it up there on the board and every day we walk in and we see. But we can't worry about it. We've just got to worry about what we're doing and not worry about who's losing and who's not."
Portland led by as many as 13 in the first half and 17 on a pair of free throws from LaMarcus Aldridge in the third quarter.
Memphis closed the third on a 19-4 run and trailed by two on former Blazer Jerryd Bayless' 3-pointer at the buzzer. It was Bayless again in the fourth with a 3 to give the Grizzlies their first lead since the first quarter, 72-71.
Portland inched to another six-point lead on one of Eric Maynor's three 3s. Following a timeout, Bayless again connected from deep, Tayshaun Prince grabbed an offensive rebound and Marc Gasol put it back in to get within one. Prince's 20-foot jumper then gave Memphis a lead it wouldn't lose at 83-82.
Memphis out-rebounded Portland 52-38, 16-7 on the offensive glass and had 20 second-chance points to the Blazers' eight.
It's not exactly a thrilling stretch for Memphis. After a much-hyped game in Miami last Friday, the Grizzlies got Orlando and Portland, now Cleveland, New Orleans and at Portland before games at the Clippers and at Denver. Los Angeles, third in the West, and Denver, fifth, play a crucial game tonight.
"I think we've grown to the point to where focus isn't an issue,"
Conley said. "I think we've just got to get off to a better start. We seem to click it in the third quarter."
Memphis came back from 25 down a week earlier here against Dallas and has now come back to win 10 times when trailing by at least 17.
"We can't keep doing that," said guard Tony Allen, who scored 10 points and had seven rebounds. "Everybody is not going to lose leads like that, but that just shows the character of our team. We are grinders."
Gasol had a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds. Conley scored 11 of his 20 points in the third quarter. Bayless finished with 13 points, all in the second half, 10 loud ones in the fourth quarter.
Rookie of the Year favorite Damian Lillard scored the last seven points of the first quarter as the Blazers led 26-18. Lillard's 3-pointer in the first quarter gave him 130 on the season, the most by a rookie since Stephen Curry's 166 in 2009-10. Lillard had only six points in the second half as Portland (28-32) shot 28 percent and scored only 35 points.
Portland finished with six guys in double figures. Lillard's 20 led the way. J.J. Hickson and Maynor had 12 each. Hickson also had a game-high 13 boards.
Memphis went from big to small. Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said Lillard leading the pick-and-roll led him to go with a smaller group.
"They played a small lineup but took the pick-and-rolls out of the game," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "They tightened things up but I do think their offense helped and affected their defense."
Memphis has reached 40 wins quicker than any other Memphis team.
Prince came to Memphis from out-of-contention Detroit. He says this stretch of games against sub-.500 teams doesn't affect his focus. He had only six points, but nine rebounds.
"I was in a situation where we were losing right and left," Prince said. "For me, that's not the case. I'm in a situation, like tonight, where I couldn't make any shots, I have to do other things on the floor."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
For the second straight home game, the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a significant deficit to escape with a win.
Marc Gasol had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Jerryd Bayless scored all of his 13 points in the final 13 minutes, and the Grizzlies beat the Portland Trail Blazers 91-85 on Wednesday night.
In its last home game, Memphis trailed Dallas by 25 before grabbing a 90-84 win on Feb...
The Memphis Grizzlies have the fourth-best record in the Western Conference thanks in large part to its consistently strong defensive effort. A key cog for the Grizzlies, which ranks second in the NBA in points allowed at just 89.6 points a game, is ball-hawking point guard Michael Conley.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Marc Gasol had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Jerryd Bayless scored all 13 of his points in the final 13 minutes, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Portland Trail Blazers 91-85 on Wednesday night.
Memphis, which won its second straight and 10th in the last 11, rallied from 17 points down in the third quarter. Mike Conley added 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from...
Marc Gasol had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Jerryd Bayless scored all 13 of his points in the final 13 minutes, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Portland Trail Blazers 91-85 on Wednesday night.
Memphis, which won its second straight and 10th in the last 11, rallied from 17 points down in the third quarter. Mike Conley added 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, and had six...
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Marc Gasol had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Jerryd Bayless scored all 13 of his points in the final 13 minutes, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Portland Trail Blazers 91-85 on Wednesday night., http://juicedsportsblog.com/sports-news/news/gasol-scores-23-as-grizzlies-beat-blazers-9185-yahoo-sports
When the Memphis Grizzlies were bought by Robert Pera this past off-season, and their front office was re-shaped, the Grizzlies new goal was to clear salary and get below the luxury threshold. Rudy Gay became public enemy number one, being that he was owed an astounding $53.7 million over three seasons.
To be fair, Memphis was also linked to possible Zach Randolph trades, but...
The surging Memphis Grizzlies know they still have a tough road ahead to secure home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, though taking advantage of a stretch featuring sub-.500 opponents can only help.
Memphis hopes to have Zach Randolph back in the lineup as it seeks a 10th victory in its last 11 tries Wednesday night against the visiting Portland Trail Blazers...
The FedExForum in Memphis is known as the "Grind House." It is a major home court advantage for the Grizzlies and encapsulates a team that the city has fallen in love with the last three years.
Memphis has gone from NBA laughingstock -- seemingly giving Pau Gasol away for nothing -- into one of the most formidable teams int he Western Conference.
Maybe not among its...
Keep on keepin’ on
After losing eight of nine games to close out the month of February, the Portland Trail Blazers have won their first two games to start March. Both games were against winnable opponents, but the momentum is there to make a late-season push.
Matchup: Portland (28-31) @ Memphis Grizzlies (39-19)
Time: 5:00 PM PT
Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2013...
The Cavs are expected to have all their starters back, with Dion Waiters (stomach virus) returning after a two-game absence. But its the reserves who will be fired up for this one -- as Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington came to Cleveland from Memphis in a late-January trade. Clearly, those two have helped make the Cavs more relevant. At the same time, the Grizzlies...
While the Memphis Grizzlies continue to pile up wins, they had to fight their way back in their last game.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are coming off an impressive comeback of their own.
Looking for their first win in Cleveland in almost a decade, the Grizzlies try for a fourth consecutive victory over the Cavaliers on Friday night.
Memphis (40-19) has won 10 of 11, with its only...