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In a slow, somewhat boring game, the Portland Trail Blazers stayed close for most of the night, but couldn't overcome the talent and defense of the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge (28 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks) and Damian Lillard (27 points, 7 assists).
First Half: Three days from now, nobody will remember the first half of this game. It was slow, plodding, and many Blazer shots kept rimming out. So, basically a normal Memphis game. Don't ask, you didn't miss anything. Score: Grizzlies 48, Blazers 40.
Memphis is just boringly solid.
Third Quarter: More of the same. Memphis focused on shutting down Lillard, and it was very effective, as the Blazers struggled for good shots. The overall solid Grizzlies D didn't help. The game slowly started to slip away, and after a couple rough possessions in a row, the Blazers fell behind by 15. They fought back late though, cutting the lead to 10 by the horn. Score: Grizzlies 68, Blazers 58.
Fourth Quarter: Memphis quashed every run the Blazers made, yet again, pushing the lead to 12 halfway into the quarter. But it was time to mount one last run. Aldridge and Lillard put the team on their back, and when Eric Maynor scored, the lead was down to 5 with four minutes left, and Memphis needed a timeout. But Tayshaun Prince nailed a three-pointer out of that timeout, forcing the Blazers back on their heels. They cut the lead back down to 5 with 1:20 left, but Mike Conley answered with a drive and bank shot to stop the momentum. The overused "Batum three in the corner" play inevitably failed, and the game was over in an appropriately slow fashion.
Stay tuned for more analysis from Blazer’s Edge later tonight. In the meantime, check out the upcoming Blazers schedule. -- Tim