Blazers falter late against Grizz

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the second straight home game, the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a significant deficit to escape with a win.

Marc Gasol had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Jerryd Bayless scored all of his 13 points in the final 13 minutes, and the Grizzlies beat the Portland Trail Blazers 91-85 on Wednesday night.

In its last home game, Memphis trailed Dallas by 25 before grabbing a 90-84 win on Feb. 27, the largest home comeback in franchise history. This time, the Grizzlies rallied from 17 down in the third quarter to win their second straight and 10th in the last 11.

"I don't like being down 17 or 25, but being in those situations, we get a taste of it, and we find who we are," said Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, who had 20 points and six assists.

Tony Allen scored 10 points, including two free throws with 4.8 seconds left that provided the final margin. The second half was another display of Memphis' defense, as the Grizzlies outscored Portland 53-35, and held the Trail Blazers to 28 percent shooting over the final two quarters.

"Normally, when we play like that, I think we're not playing hard," Allen said of Memphis' first-half performance. "I think we're not sticking to our game plan, taking those guys for granted. Whenever we key in and focus on the game plan at hand, we all tune in and we're able to climb back into the lead.

"But it's definitely not something we can keep doing."

Damian Lillard scored 20 points on 8-for-16 shooting for Portland. J.J. Hickson had 12 points and 13 rebounds, Eric Maynor also scored 12, and Wesley Matthews finished with 11 points.

Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge each added 10. Aldridge also had 10 rebounds and six assists.

All of Batum's points came in the first half, as he and Aldridge were a combined 6 of 23 from the field for the night as Portland shot 41 percent. Batum missed all five of his shots after intermission.

Memphis overcame Portland's final lead with an 11-1 run to go ahead 87-83 with 21 seconds left. Gasol had six points in the stretch, and Bayless had a 3-pointer to start the rally.

"That was a disappointing loss," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "Maybe we could have executed a little better, but that was a disappointing loss."

Memphis was without leading rebounder Zach Randolph (left ankle sprain) and reserve forward Darrell Arthur (sore neck and back), and early, the absence of two main pieces of the rotation seemed to affect the Memphis offense. Gasol took over the inside scoring load.

In the second half, the Grizzlies stopped the effectiveness of the Portland pick-and-rolls, tightened up on defense and used that to fuel the offense, Stotts said.

"They came out and played a lot harder than we did as far as energy and getting loose balls," Lillard said. "I thought we worked hard to get what we got, but they outworked us, and I thought they definitely turned it up defensively and made more shots."

Portland shot 54 percent in the first half, including Lillard hitting 5 of 7 for 14 points and a 50-38 lead at the break.

The Memphis offense seemed completely out of synch with unusual rotations due to missing frontline players.

"Part of it in the first half was that we were making shots, and they weren't," Stotts said, "so we were playing in transition and flow and not playing against their halfcourt defense."

The Portland lead reached 13 in the half and could have been more, except Lillard's floater at the end of the half came after the horn.

Portland continued to extend its lead to open the second half, eventually reaching 17 in the third quarter. Hickson and Lillard each had a couple of baskets.

After Portland built the lead to 63-46 near the midway point of the third, Memphis closed the quarter with a 19-4 rally. The last basket came on a 3-pointer from Bayless, his first points of the game, trimming the deficit to 67-65 entering the fourth.

Another 3-pointer from Bayless erased the Trail Blazers' advantage and put the Grizzlies up 72-71 with just more than 9 minutes left.

But after an exchange of leads, Matthews converted a three-point play, and Maynor scored from long range to rebuild the Portland advantage to 82-76.

Memphis then began its final push for the victory.

Lakers 108, Hornets 102

At New Orleans, Kobe Bryant scored 13 of his 42 points during a 20-0 run in the last 6:22 of the fourth quarter, helping Los Angeles overcome a 25-point deficit to fend off New Orleans.

The Hornets were still ahead by 21 in the final minute of the third quarter when Greivis Vasquez's 3-pointer made it 93-72, and even after the Lakers had whittled their deficit to 12, the Hornets were up 102-88 after Robin Lopez's dunk with 6:47 to go. But the Hornets would not score again, and Bryant began to take over with a big assist from Jodie Meeks, who hit two of his five 3-pointers during the final surge to finish with 19 points.

Heat 97, Magic 96

At Miami, LeBron James scored 26 points, including a go-ahead layup with 3.2 seconds left, and the Miami Heat scrambled late to beat the Orlando Magic and extend their franchise-record winning streak to 16 games.

Celtics 83, Pacers 81

At Indianapolis, Kevin Garnett found Jeff Green all alone under the basket for a layup with 0.5 seconds remaining to finish off a fourth-quarter comeback from 14 points down, giving Boston the victory over Indiana.

Spurs 101, Bulls 83

At San Antonio, Tim Duncan had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and San Antonio beat Chicago in a matchup of teams missing their starting All-Star point guards.

Manu Ginobili added 18 points and nine assists, Tiago Splitter had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard scored 14 points for San Antonio, which was playing its second game without Tony Parker.

Cavaliers 104, Jazz 101

At Cleveland, Kyrie Irving scored 20 points and made all the big plays down the stretch, rallying Cleveland to the victory over Utah.

Nets 99, Bobcats 78

At Charlotte, N.C., Deron Williams had 20 points and eight assists, Joe Johnson added 22 points, and Brooklyn got a needed win after losing two straight and four of its last five.

Hawks 107, 76ers 96

At Atlanta, Jeff Teague scored 27 points, Anthony Tolliver added a season-high 21 and Atlanta bounced back from a sluggish start to snap a three-game losing streak.

Knicks 87, Pistons 77

At Auburn Hills, Mich., Raymond Felton scored 26 points, and New York pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Detroit despite Carmelo Anthony's absence.

Timberwolves 87, Wizards 82

At Minneapolis, Ricky Rubio had 15 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and six steals to lead Minnesota to a victory over Washington that snapped a six-game losing streak.

Mavericks 112, Rockets 108

At Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points, O.J. Mayo had two big fourth-quarter baskets and a career-high 12 assists, and Dallas bounced back from a blowout loss in Houston.

Raptors 98, Suns 71

At Phoenix, DeMar DeRozan scored 15 points and Amir Johnson added 14 to lead Toronto to a victory over Phoenix that snapped a five-game skid.

Clippers 117, Bucks 101

At Los Angeles, Blake Griffin had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his third career triple-double, and the Clippers won for the 10th time in 13 games.


Warriors 87, Kings 83

At Oakland, Calif., Klay Thompson made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 7.5 seconds remaining and finished with 20 points to lead Golden State.

Thompson then forced Tyreke Evans into an errant layup on the final possession to seal a sloppy win for the Warriors over the Western Conference's worst team. After dropping the first two in Sacramento this season, Golden State overcame 18 turnovers and 36 percent shooting against its Northern California rival.

David Lee had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and rookie Harrison Barnes added 14 points for the Warriors, who are 2-0 since a four-game losing streak. They held the Kings to 40 percent shooting and forced 15 turnovers.

Jason Thompson had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Patrick Patterson added 15 points for Sacramento, which has lost 11 of its last 13 games.


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