The Memphis Grizzlies were coming off of an uninspiring performance on Saturday night where they lost to the Utah Jazz 92-87 in OT. A game against an injured Trail Blazers team seemed to be a perfect opportunity to get back in to the win column.
The Grizzlies and Trail Blazers started off slow. Courtney Lee hit the opening shot for Memphis, but both teams struggled from the field.
Nearly eight minutes into the game, Memphis held a 7-6 lead over Portland. That's when Zach Randolph started to come alive for the Grizzlies. Randolph scored six points in the final 4:30 of the first quarter. Memphis took a 17-10 lead at one point, but allowed the Trail Blazers to score the final five points.
End 1Q: Grizzlies - 17, Trail Blazers - 15.
Memphis started out the second quarter hitting their first three shots. Tony Allen would hit a three (These are very rare), and Randolph continued his stellar play by making two more baskets.
The Grizzlies would take their biggest lead of the first half, 29-19, after Chalmers hit one of two free throw attempts. It would be back and forth for the rest of the quarter.
Halftime: Grizzlies - 38, Trail Blazers - 34.
The third quarter has not been kind to the Grizzlies this season. In most games, they came out of the locker room with a lead and quickly fell apart.
The third quarter didn't start out well for Memphis on Monday night in Portland. After Courtney Lee hit two free throws, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum (Both All-Stars IMO) hit back-to-back three point shots to tie the game at 40.
You'd think that the Trail Blazers would make a run while the Grizzlies continued to play flat in the third quarter after Lillard and McCollum hit the back-to-back three's. Well, that wasn't the case for once!
Randolph and Mario Chalmers took over for the remainder of the third quarter and helped the Grizzlies pull away. Chalmers had the best play of the quarter, hitting a layup and then falling to the deck getting the foul call. Memphis outscored Portland 32-18 in the quarter.
End 3Q: Grizzlies - 70, Trail Blazers - 52.
The Grizzlies finally had a large lead entering the final frame. With their largest lead at 20, the Grizzlies were able to sit back and run some clock down.
Randolph continued to do work and scored six more points in the quarter. He ended up with 26 points and 18 rebounds on the night. A solid bench effort by the Grizzlies led to 50 points overall.
Portland attempted to make a comeback, but time simply wasn't on their side. Lillard and Meyers Leonard cut it to single digits on two separate occasions, but the Grizzlies were able to hold on. Gasol hit two baskets in crunch time that helped put away Portland for good.
Final Score: Grizzlies - 91, Trail Blazers - 78.
- Zach Randolph joined Mike Miller as the only Grizzlies bench player to come off the bench to record a 20 point, 10 rebound performance twice in the same season.
- Damian Lillard returned to the lineup for the Trail Blazers after sitting out the past seven games with a foot injury.