MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Former University of Washington star Brandon Roy scored 25 points and Nicolas Batum added 21 as Portland erased a 14-point first-half deficit with a strong third quarter and defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, 103-93, on Monday night.
LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 13 points, and Andre Miller scored 12 points and handed out 11 assists as the Trail Blazers ended their five-game trip with four victories. They also solidified their hold on the Western Conference’s eighth playoff spot.
It was the seventh straight road win for Portland over the Grizzlies. Meanwhile, Memphis extended its current home losing streak to seven.
Zach Randolph led Memphis with 22 points, and Rudy Gay finished with 19. Marc Gasol added 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Mike Conley scored 13.
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Portland overtook Memphis by outscoring the Grizzlies 41-21 in the third quarter, the Blazers’ highest-scoring quarter this season.
The Trail Blazers held a 13-point lead early in the fourth, and still led by 11 with 6:43 remaining. But Memphis went on an 11-2 run to pull to 91-89 on Randolph’s two free throws with 3:25 to play. Later, Randolph’s three-point play cut the lead to 93-92.
Memphis could get no closer.
The game was the first step in a week in which Memphis, entering the night in the 10th spot in the West, could make some strides in the playoff race. In addition to playing the Trail Blazers, the eighth seed, Memphis travels to New Orleans, which is just ahead of it in ninth place.
The seventh-seeded San Antonio Spurs close out the Grizzlies’ week.
The first step started off well, but eventually got out of hand in the second half.
Portland dealt with some early ball handling problems and managed to stay close until Memphis extended it to eight points as the miscues continued, a half-dozen of them in the first quarter.
The Trail Blazers settled down after the opening quarter, taking better care of the basketball, and the Portland reserves brought more energy on both ends of the floor.
That didn’t prevent Memphis from getting out on the break and controlling the boards and the middle.
Memphis’ lead reached 14 before the Grizzlies carried a 53-41 lead into the dressing room behind 13 from Gay and 12 more from Randolph.
No Trail Blazers were in double figures at the break.
Portland quickly erased the Memphis advantage in the second half on 9-of-11 shooting accuracy from the field. Batum’s 3-pointer completed the rally, giving Portland the lead.
That was part of Batum’s 12 points in the quarter, while Roy had 15. Portland outscored Memphis 41-21 for an 82-74 lead entering the fourth.
Portland outhustled Memphis in the second half, forcing 16 turnovers. That allowed Portland to lead by as many as 13 early in the fourth quarter before Memphis started its rally.