Gasol has 20 and Grizzlies beat Blazers 102-97
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Zach Randolph sat out the Grizzlies' first two games against the Trail Blazers this season. So he made sure he wasn't going to miss No. 3 against his former team.
Randolph returned from an ankle injury with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Memphis won its fifth straight game with a 102-97 victory over Portland on Tuesday night.
"I felt pretty good out there," said Randolph, who had missed the last four games with a left ankle sprain. "A little sore, but overall I felt all right."
Marc Gasol had 20 points for the Grizzlies, who have won 13 of their last 14 games and sit in fourth place in the Western Conference. Mike Conley added 14 points and a career-high 15 assists, and Memphis matched its season high with 31 assists overall.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, whose playoff hopes are slipping away. Rookie Damian Lillard had 27 points.
Memphis (43-19) led by as many as 15 points in the second half but the Blazers closed the gap to 79-72 after Lillard's 3-pointer and a pair of free throws from Aldridge.
Eric Maynor's 3-pointer with 3:49 left narrowed Memphis' lead to 83-78, but Tayshaun Prince answered with a 3-pointer for the Grizzlies.
Portland kept up the pressure, pulling within 89-84 on a pair of free throws from Maynor with 1:21 to go, but Conley came back with a short jumper and Portland was unable to catch up.
"We just kept holding them off," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said.
The Grizzlies trailed the Blazers by as many as 17 points in the third quarter last Wednesday before winning 91-85.
Portland (29-34) returned home after a 1-2 road trip, including the loss at Memphis, for a three-game homestand. The Blazers are four games back of Los Angeles for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"Definitely that door is closing," Aldridge said. "We're going to have to string together some wins fast or that door is going to close on us."
Hollins said before the game he planned to start Randolph but wasn't sure how much he would play. Randolph showed no lingering effects from the injury and finished with 28 minutes.
"He's back. He made them pay in the paint," Gasol said. "There's no way around it — we need Zach. There's no way around that."
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 54539Read live updates from the May 20 Moore tornado
- 32179Oklahoma devastated by second round of twisters
- 12196Several kids pulled out of Oklahoma school rubble alive
- 11468How to help tornado victims
- 10241At least 51 die in Oklahoma tornado, official says
- 9189Oklahoma City tornado so large, may not be recognized, officials say
- 7786Tornado in Oklahoma City suburb causes destruction