PORTLAND, Ore. — The Memphis Grizzlies led from start to finish Tuesday in a 98-81 pounding of the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center.
Forward Zach Randolph had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and guard Mike Conley contributed 19 points and seven assists for the Grizzlies (23-20). Memphis won for the eighth time in the past nine contests.
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge collected 27 points and 16 rebounds for the Trail Blazers (33-13). Portland lost its second consecutive game.
Memphis shot 51.8 percent from the field and held Portland to 34.5 percent shooting — the second straight game in which the Blazers shot lower than 35 percent.
The Grizzlies extended a 15-point halftime lead to 77-53 with 2:40 left in the third quarter. Center Robin Lopez had all seven of Portland’s points in the quarter to that point. The Grizzlies’ advantage was 81-58 heading into the final period.
The Blazers scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to draw within 81-65, but Memphis answered with an 8-3 run. Portland made one more run, cutting the difference to 94-81 with 2:30 left, but could get no closer.
Portland spotted Memphis a 10-0 lead in the first 2 1/2 minutes. Aldridge scored nine consecutive points to draw the Blazers within 13-9. The home team closed the gap to 21-19, but the Grizzlies finished the quarter on a 10-3 run to take a 31-22 advantage into the second period. Aldridge was 6-for-8 and scored 13 points, while Randolph had 11 points for the Grizzlies in the quarter.
Memphis increased the margin to 57-39 late in the second quarter, then settled for a 61-46 edge at the half. Aldridge scored 17 points for the Blazers, while Conley had 16 points and Randolph 13 for the Grizzlies, who shot 59.1 percent (26-for-44) through intermission.
For the game, the Blazers’ backcourt of Damian Lillard (16 points) and Wesley Matthews (eight points) shot a combined 4-for-15 from 3-point range.
NOTES: Memphis is 6-1 since the return of C Marc Gasol, who missed 23 games with a knee injury. “Gasol is a great passer and they play through him, but his biggest impact is at the defensive end,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. … Memphis began the night ranked third in the NBA in scoring defense (96.0), and it let only one opponent score 100 points during its nine-game tear. … Tuesday’s game was a battle between two of the top four rebounding teams in the NBA — Memphis No. 2, Portland No. 4. … The Blazers began Tuesday ranked second in the league in 3-point percentage (.388). Over the past seven games, though, they are only 42-for-149 (.282). They hit just four of 24 long-range attempts against the Grizzlies.
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