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Final: Blazers Poke the Grizzlies, 105-98

The Portland Trail Blazers pulled ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies in the first half, leading by more than 20 before holding on for a big victory. This was a brutal, playoff-physical game, and the Blazers held their own.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Spo

The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge (28 points), with support from Mo Williams (17 points, 4 assists, 2 steals), and Wesley Matthews (15 points, 5 assists). The loss knocked the Grizzlies into 9th place in the West.

Elsewhere tonight. the Golden State Warriors unexpectedly lost at home to the New York Knicks tonight, giving Portland a full two-game lead for the 5th seed in the Western Conference. And the Phoenix Suns were blown out by the Los Angeles Lakers, sinking them into a tie with the victorious Dallas Mavericks.

Box Score

First Half: Despite a few dumb Blazer turnovers, this was a thing of beauty. With Aldridge settling back in, Portland ran their offense efficiently. Lillard struggled to shoot the ball, but made up for it with three steals in the half. Memphis kept things close, but in the second quarter, Portland went on a run, using their inside play to pull ahead by double figures. The bench came up big, scoring 23 points just in the first half. Robinson found a groove, crashing boards and making himself available for easy buckets.

Portland 57, Memphis 45

Portland playing big boy basketball. Chicago and Memphis are two of the most physical teams in the league and we are giving them the business. I Love It!
by lightskin350

Second Half: Portland pulled ahead by 18 before Memphis made their push. Led by former Blazer Zach Randolph, Memphis hit their shots, got rebounds and made a few steals. And they were somehow still down by 14, thanks to timely plays by the Blazers. The Blazers botched their last two plays of the quarter, but Memphis couldn't take advantage, so Portland took a 16 point lead into the fourth.

Mo Williams opened the fourth with a three-pointer, then dished to Batum for a dunk to give the Blazers a 21 point lead in the first minute. But Memphis made their run, cutting the lead to 15 by the eight minute mark. The Blazers struggled to get buckets against Memphis' increased defensive pressure, so Aldridge came back into the game and started manufacturing points as quarter reached the halfway point. They just couldn't put Memphis away though, as they hit free throws to close within 10 at the 3 minute mark. But the Blazers went back to Aldridge in the post, and the team settled down to finish off their third straight victory since LaMarcus returned.

What's Next:

The Blazers have a travel day before taking on the Lakers Tuesday night on TNT.

In the meantime, stay tuned for Dave's analysis and Ben's Media Row Report.

Gameday Thread Comments of the Night:

Thanks to everyone who participated in tonight's Gameday Thread! As always, here are the most popular comments, based on the number of Rec's from their fellow fans:

# Recs Commenter Comment Link
13 Beau & Darrow I quickly want to say how lucky we are for the people at this site!
11 Tyler Durrden I think you mean "Panda"emic
10 GoBlazers!! Go Blazers!
9 LillardTime Go Portland Trail Blazers!!!
8 Mantre7179 Go Trail Blazers!!
8 DaptoDog !!!!Srezalb Liart Dnaltrop Og
6 ryanhasler Last game versus Clips
6 KingWes Go Memphis Grizzlies!
6 bustabucket Go Blazers!
5 ChiefsLady and..
4 GoBlazers!! Here comes number 48
3 occassia I don't know if this will work:
3 Siccolo Go Blazers
3 Corvid That's a great story. I bet your little girl is the cutest spambot we've ever had on SBN.
3 lightskin350 Portland playing big boy basketball. Chicago and Memphis are two of the most physical teams in the league and we are giving them the business.
3 HeyBabbitt! Maybe Zach Randolph will have a bad game
3 KingWes Go Trail Blazers!!
3 ParticleAccelerator Or a workout video.
3 cavejunctionblazer also known as boxer shorts