NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 28th (All times Eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (22-20) at Portland Trail Blazers (33-12), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers will try to trim the growing deficit atop the Northwest Division standings Tuesday night when they welcome the Memphis Grizzlies to the Moda Center.
Thanks in large part to the Oklahoma City Thunder's eight-game winning streak, the Blazers are 2 1/2 games behind in the Northwest Division. The Blazers aren't playing poorly, going 7-3 over their last 10.
They had a two-game winning streak snapped on Sunday. Actually, it was snapped, ripped apart and stepped on as the Golden State Warriors cruised past Portland, 103-88, at Oracle Arena.
Wesley Matthews scored 21 points and Damian Lillard added 16 for the Trail Blazers. Robin Lopez added 10 points as Portland was held to its lowest scoring output of the season.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 10 points despite going just 2-for-14 from the field. He has 68 consecutive double-figure scoring efforts.
"Just one of those nights," Aldridge said of his shooting struggles. "I couldn't get going and I didn't find a rhythm."
The Blazers host Toronto on Saturday, then head east for four games.
Memphis has been on a roll of late, winning two straight and seven of its last eight. The Grizzlies have inched into serious playoff contention, trailing the Dallas Mavericks by two games for the eighth seed out west.
The Grizz got two games over .500 thanks to a home-and-home sweep of the Houston Rockets on Friday and Saturday.
Memphis won by a single point Friday night in Houston, 88-87. The Grizzlies dominated inside as they outscored Houston, 48-30, in the paint and outrebounded the Rockets, 42-31.
One night later in Memphis, the Grizz destroyed the Rockets, 99-81, once again owning the paint to the tune of 56-32.
Zach Randolph had 15 points and 17 rebounds. Mike Conley scored 17 points, Courtney Lee added 15 and Kosta Koufos chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds for Memphis.
The Grizzlies did what made them so great last season - they played defense.
"They like to run and gun. We just tried to get back and play and get stops," Randolph said.
These two squads haven't met yet this season, but the Grizzlies took three of four from the Blazers in 2012-13. Memphis won both games in Portland last season, but is just 4-7 in its last 11 in the great northwest.
01/28 10:28:57 ET