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Memphis Grizzlies Take Game Three from the Portland Trail Blazers 115-109

A game of unprecedented offensive success led the Memphis Grizzlies to a key win in Game Three of their Best-of-Seven series against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

On a night where the Memphis Grizzlies reached new heights offensively while overcoming adversity in other areas, the Bears of Beale Street continued their winning ways over the Portland Trail Blazers in a game where the main story line coming out of it is the health of Mike Conley more than the victory itself. The defense carried the day in games one and two; in game three, Memphis' offense made all of the difference.

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The beginning of the game was a similar tone to the previous games in the series. Memphis led by as many as 11 in the first quarter and 13 in the second, scoring a playoff record 62 points in the first half on the back of successful play once again from their back court (28 points on 22 shots overall in the game from Courtney Lee and Mike Conley.) A 38 point second quarter was a difference maker for the Grizzlies, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph scored the final 14 points of the second quarter for Memphis as the Grizzlies took a 62-49 lead in to the halftime break.

The second half's main story was the injury to Conley, one that forced Mike to go to a local hospital and not return to the contest due to concerns about Mike's face. At the time of this posting, no new information was provided beyond this...

The Grizzlies found a way (through the efforts of Nick Calathes' 13 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists on 0 turnovers on a night where Beno Udrih sat out on a bum ankle) to power through without their Captain. Three key stats from the victory-

  • 39-43, or 90.7% from the free throw line. This is what the Grizzlies shot from the charity stripe, compared to 26-31 (83.9%) for the Trail Blazers. Memphis took advantage of a whistle-happy crew and scored 13 more points from the free throw line than Portland did.
  • 48 points in the paint for Memphis, 30 for Portland. The Grizzlies' had their way getting to the rim on this night, either creating contact or finishing strongly at the rim (23/35 at the rim, or 65.7% for the game)
  • While Damian Lillard had a better night shooting from the field (9-17 overall) LaMarcus Aldridge struggled, shooting 6-18 and ending the game with a negative +/- rating of -10. Aldridge's issues mean a Portland loss on most nights.
This loss is a painful one for Portland. They must now beat the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that they have now lost to seven times in a row, four straight times to move on to the second round and a date with the Golden State Warriors. This seems quite unlikely regardless of the health situation of Mike Conley. Conley's health bears watching moving forward, however, if the series ends Monday, Wednesday or this coming weekend, Mike Conley being capable of playing meaningful minutes makes a huge difference for these Grizzlies against any team.

Portland is most certainly not done yet. Saturday night was a third nail in a coffin that only needs four to seal it, however, and Memphis' complete team performance should give members of Grizz Nation nothing but confidence heading in to Game Four Monday night.