NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 11th
(All times Eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (42-21) at Memphis Grizzlies (36-26), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers are still searching for their
first win on this current road trip and they'll make another go of it Tuesday
night when they visit FedExForum to take on the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Blazers dropped the first two of a five-game southern swing, falling to
the Dallas Mavericks on Friday and the Houston Rockets on Sunday. Those are
two playoff-bound teams in the Western Conference, but the trip doesn't get
easier with Memphis, a playoff contender, the San Antonio Spurs and New
Orleans Pelicans on the docket.
The Sunday loss to the Rockets was a tough pill to swallow. Houston prevailed
in overtime, 118-113, as James Harden went off for 41.
LaMarcus Aldridge had a team-high 28 points to go along with 12 rebounds to
lead Portland, which has dropped three of its last four contests. Wesley
Matthews netted 26 points and Damian Lillard deposited 21 points before
fouling out in the extra session.
Robin Lopez finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Mo Williams added
10 points off the bench in the setback
Portland had a 13-point lead with 7:30 to play, but Houston, mainly Harden and
Jeremy Lin, caught fire. With less than 20 seconds left, Matthews missed a
free-throw which would've made it a two-possession game and Harden buried a 3-
The Blazers were three points clear with less than two minutes to go in
overtime, but Harden again was spectacular.
"Of course there are a lot of angry faces because we should've had that game,"
Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "We were definitely in position to win it."
The Grizzlies have won two straight and four of their last five. The recent
run spurred Memphis into the eighth seed in the Western Conference, just a
half-game ahead of the Phoenix Suns.
On Saturday, Mike Conley scored 20 points to lead the Grizzlies to a 111-89
home win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Zach Randolph contributed 16 points with seven rebounds, while Marc Gasol
notched 14 points and nine rebounds in Memphis' sixth straight home win. Kosta
Koufos deposited a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double for the home team.
"I can't help but look at the standings," said Tony Allen, who had eight
points, six rebounds and four assists off the bench in the win. "(Coach
Joerger) probably wants us to stop talking about (the playoffs) and take it
one game at a time, which we're trying to do. But you can't help but go online
and see what Phoenix's next three games are; see what Golden State's next
three games are."
The Grizzlies bested the Blazers by 17 in Portland on Jan. 28. That was
Memphis' fourth consecutive victory in this series. The Blazers are 9-3 in
their last 12 in Memphis.
03/11 10:23:13 ET