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Sometimes the Best Gifts: Memphis beats Portland 106-96

Forget the final score, this game was a beat-down led by a 21-0 run by Memphis in the first half. And even after that, the Grizzlies kept rolling to a 31-2 streak. By the time the Blazers had pulled within striking distance even Hasheem Thabeet had managed to score 9 points.

Hop over the jump for a short reaction and a few thoughts; I didn't watch the whole thing, so the real opinion comes tomorrow. That means no awards show tonight, but also be sure to get on over to Blazersedge for what I'm sure will be a rant and rave session.

The Grizzlies were anchored by Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph banging down below. The two combined for 40 points and 24 rebounds, and they did so in a relatively dominant fashion, shooting well and limiting the impact of LaMarcus Aldridge.

O.J. Mayo also showed that long lost spark, taking over ball-handling duties while playing with Mike Conley and distributing 6 assists, while scoring when Jamaal Tinsley played alongside him. He went 9-14 for 19 points, and his jumper was what really opened things up for the Grizzlies.

Speaking of Conley and Tinsley, the point guard battle hardly seems like a battle. The Grizzlies play like a real team with Tinsley in the game. He is the addition that Iverson wasn't for Memphis, sadly he won't sell quite as many tickets even though he's the better player right now.

The Memphis Grizzlies still have a lot to prove before I'll bless this core as a team worth holding together, but in the past few weeks they're starting to look closer than I've seen in a long time.