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Gasol scores 23 as Grizzlies beat Blazers 91-85

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 6, 2013 at 11:38 pm •  Published: March 6, 2013

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.

Gasol, who had 10 points in the first half, couldn't explain why the Grizzlies have struggled getting started in their last two home games.

"If I knew it, we wouldn't have it. We would solve it," Gasol said. "At least we can fight back. We showed a lot of heart, but it's not enough. You can get away with it with some teams, but the good ones are going to pull away and go up 30, and then there's no chance."

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.

"We're not always going out there blowing people out," Conley said. "We're winning close games. We're having to come back. Every night is a different night, and for us to win in different ways is good."

NOTES: The Trail Blazers lost their seventh straight road game, and have not won on the road since a 100-98 victory at Minnesota on Feb. 4. ... Memphis F Quincy Pondexter was a game-time decision with a case of food poisoning. He finished with four points on 2-for-6 shooting in 22 minutes. . Lillard connected on his first 3-pointer of the game, giving him 130, most by a rookie since Stephen Curry made 166 in 2009-10. ... Hickson finished the game 6 of 12 from the field. He has shot at least 50 percent in 23 straight games. . Conley had two steals, giving him 50 straight games with at least one. ... Memphis is now 29-2 when they outshoot their opponents. .It was Lillard's 30th game of at least 20 points. He leads all rookies in that category. . Hickson recorded his 33rd double-double, ranking him fourth in the NBA.