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FINAL: Memphis Grizzlies 93, Portland Trail Blazers 89

Marc Gasol, after spending just one day at the Portland Trail Blazer School of Defense.
Marc Gasol, after spending just one day at the Portland Trail Blazer School of Defense.

The Zach-less Memphis Grizzlies dominated the Portland Trail Blazers... until they got bored, and the Blazers crawled back into the game. Repeat this process a few more times, and that was basically tonight's game, until a late Blazer comeback put a scare into the Grizz, who held on for a 4 point win.

The Blazers were led by JJ Hickson's 23 points and 13 rebounds, with support from Wesley Matthews (16 points, 7 rebounds), and Jamal Crawford (21 points on 9-10 FT's).

The game immediately looked like a Memphis blowout, as they scored easily on consecutive possessions. However, Matthews and Hickson helped the Blazers tie the game at 15. The teams swapped the lead through the rest of the quarter, ending with a 3 point Blazer lead.

In the second, the Blazers tried to maintain the lead, but the OJ Mayo show pulled the Grizz ahead. They slowly built the lead, and when a poor Crawford pass led to a Rudy Gay highlight dunk, the Blazers took timeout while down 11. Two Crawford FT's brought the game back into single digits at halftime.

The wheels quickly flew off in the third quarter. It was as if the Grizzlies realized Portland was actually trying, so they also had to make an effort. A couple steals and dunks midway through the third, and the lead was 15. However, they were lulled to sleep by the ease of scoring, and the Blazers cut the lead down to single-digits again. For about a minute. Memphis led by 12 after three.

The Blazers keep the game close to start the fourth, as the Grizz couldn't find the net. Portland struggled from the field too, but Hickson took over, cutting the lead to 6. Memphis immediately brought back the starters. They couldn't put away the Blazers though, who closed to within 2 with 30 seconds left after a Babbit three-pointer. With 11 seconds, the Blazers had the ball with a chance to tie or lead, but Matthews' three-pointer was cleanly blocked by Rudy Gay to secure the win for Memphis.

Here's the box score and a link to the standings. Dave will post the recap later, then it's a day off until the next game, Monday in San Antonio. -- Tim