Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/5/13
MEMPHIS -- The Portland Trail Blazers overcame a poor shooting night with a superior defensive effort as they held the Memphis Grizzlies to 28 percent shooting in the second half -- including 23 percent in the final quarter – to win 86-84 Friday for their ninth victory in 12 games It also was the Trail Blazers 14th win over Memphis in the past 18 games. The Trail Blazers (17-15) were led by Wesley Matthews, who scored 21 points and was 5 of 8 from beyond the arc. J.J. Hickson added 19 and LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 12 rebounds. Marreese Speights, starting in place of Zach Randolph, led the Grizzlies (20-10) with 22 points and 13 rebounds, both season highs. Randolph missed his first game of the season because of flulike symptoms. Rudy Gay scored 19 for the Grizzlies, but had only two in the second half and missed a potential game-tying basket at the buzzer. Memphis missed its final 10 shot attempts, including a potential game-winning layup by point guard Mike Conley with 7.9 seconds to go. Conley's attempt, with Portland leading 85-84, was a little strong and glanced off the front of the rim. Conley and shooting guard Tony Allen combined to go 4-for-17. "Obviously this one hurt because we had our chances," Allen said. "And it was a tough loss with one of our key guys being down." Speights posted Randolph-like numbers in his first start of the season, but also was unable to convert from close range during the Grizzlies late meltdown. Memphis didn't make a field goal in the final three minutes. "We were just rushing it and the ball wouldn't go in," Speights said. "It's the NBA and things like that happen all the time." The Grizzlies led 78-75 with 9:03 left, but went nearly five minutes without scoring. Unable to extend their lead, the Grizzlies allowed an equally misfiring Portland to hang around. The Trail Blazers shot 40.7 percent, only slightly better than the Grizzlies' 39.5. Gay was 1 of 8 shooting in the second half after being disrupted mostly by Nicolas Batum and Matthews. "I thought particularly in the second half that Nick was very good on Rudy," said Portland coach Terry Stotts. "We let them penetrate too much in the first half. They got into the paint far too often. Both those guys (Batum and Matthews) really took the challenge to guard him on every possession. They made it tough on him." Speights scored 12 of the Grizzlies' first 14 points to open the third quarter, giving Memphis a 64-58 lead. He finished with 16 in the quarter and his driving dunk, off a no-look pass from Marc Gasol, gave the Grizzlies a 70-64 lead with three minutes left. Portland battled back to tie the game at 72 at the end of three quarters and held the Grizzlies to 12 points in the final quarter. "The game never really got away until we lost it," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. "I mean, if you can't make buckets you can't score. We got shots. We got to the basket. We did things that we've been trying to do. We just didn't make anything." Conley was 0-for-5 shooting in the second half and Allen was 0-for-4. "Defensively, we've been playing outstanding," Conley said. "We've just got to find a way to score the ball down the stretch." After a slow start (the Grizzlies missed seven of their first eight shots), Memphis rode Gay's strong shooting to take a 50-47 lead at the half. Gay scored 10 in the second quarter and had 17 at halftime. Playing without Randolph, one of the league's top rebounders, the Grizzlies were outrebounded 13-8 in the first quarter, but recovered in the second quarter to outrebound the Trail Blazers 12-5. The Grizzlies used a 9-0 run early in the second quarter to take a 38-32 lead, only to watch Portland match the run late in the quarter. Back-to-back baskets by Gay in the final minute allowed the Grizzlies to go up by three. NOTES -- Randolph had played in each of the team's 29 games before missing Friday night's game. Randolph ranks second in the NBA with a 12.3 rebounding average and he leads the league with 22 double-doubles. ... Speights, Randolph's replacement in the starting lineup, was averaging 6.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game before Friday. ... Reserve guard Jerryd Bayless, who sprained his left ankle in Wednesday's 93-83 win at Boston, returned to action. Bayless was injured early in the game at Boston and his absence forced point guard Mike Conley to play a season-high 44 minutes. ... Former University of Memphis star Will Barton, in his rookie season with the Trail Blazers, entered the game to a warm applause in the first half and scored four points. ... Gasol tied a franchise record with eight blocks, including six in the first quarter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning gives Papa John a kiss after game

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker