Local: 503.250.1080
    Toll Free: 866.358.1080
| More
NBA Basketball
Scoreboard|Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions

Trail Blazers-Grizzlies Preview

By ELI KABERON

STATS Writer

(AP) -- The Portland Trail Blazers have learned how difficult it can be to hold on late against good teams after dropping the first two on their current five-game trip.

The Trail Blazers, who wasted fourth-quarter leads in the losses, continue the swing against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.

Portland (42-21) has generally been a strong fourth-quarter team this season, ranking among the NBA's best with an 80.7 free-throw percentage and 26.1 scoring average over the final 12 minutes of regulation.

That hasn't been the case over the last few days for the Trail Blazers, who dropped back-to-back games in Texas - against Dallas on Friday and at Houston two nights later - behind some spotty play down the stretch.

Portland rallied from a 30-point deficit Friday against the Mavericks and held a seven-point advantage in the fourth before allowing Dallas to close with an 11-0 run for a 103-98 victory.

Blowing a late lead also happened against the Rockets, who outscored the Blazers 33-21 in the final quarter to send the game into overtime. Portland went scoreless over the final 2:15 of the extra period en route to a 118-113 loss.

In the two games, Portland was outscored by an average of 8.0 points during the fourth quarter, shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 75.0 percent from the foul line.

"That was a tough loss," coach Terry Stotts said in Houston. "A game that, I thought we did a good job of controlling it for a good part of it. We had our opportunities to win it. They made some tough shots. I thought we overcame some adversity and still put ourselves in a position to win, but we didn't close it out."

LaMarcus Aldridge has done his job, averaging 29.0 points and 14.5 rebounds so far on a trip that takes the Blazers through all five cities in the Southwest Division. After Memphis, the team plays in San Antonio and at New Orleans before returning home.

Aldridge has struggled in his career against the Grizzlies, averaging 15.9 points in 24 games against them - his lowest total against any NBA opponent.

He had 27 when the team's met Jan. 28, but the Blazers - who are among the NBA's leaders at 107.7 points per game - scored a season low in the 98-81 defeat. Portland hit 34.5 percent of its attempts in that game, its second-worst sooting display this season.

Memphis (36-26) has won back-to-back games and four of its last five after knocking off Charlotte 111-89 on Saturday. The Grizzlies were again strong on the glass, holding a 51-40 rebounding edge.

A key to the team's success lately has been balance. Eight different players scored at least eight points in the win, led by Mike Conley's 20. Conley was 5 of 7 from 3-point range for Memphis, which had seven different players lead the team in scoring over its past seven games prior to beating the Bobcats.

"Everybody is pitching in, and we are going to need everybody to continue to do that for the remainder (of the season)," guard Tony Allen said. "Be ready when their number is called."

The Grizzlies have won four straight against the Trail Blazers.

Updated March 10, 2014

127 © 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

The Fan's Top Stories

Mariota focused on the Civil War rivalry


(AP) Marcus Mariota says he hasn't made up his mind about what he's doing next season. It really doesn't matter because there's still plenty of work to do this season. The first item on the agenda . . . more.

Streaking Blazers visit Philly


(AP) The Portland Trail Blazers simply outscored opponents in the early part of their lengthy win streak but have relied on an improved defense lately to keep that run going. More.

FSU No. 1, top 4 unchanged in AP poll


(AP) Florida State is No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll, followed by Alabama, Oregon and Mississippi State. The top four teams were unchanged for the first time since late September. More.

Seahawks pluck Cardinals


(AP) After 10 games, the defending champions needed to ask the difficult questions of each other. Most of all, whether the Seattle Seahawks were willing to put aside egos and get back in the NFC West race. More.

Big plays help Huskies race past Beavers 37-13


(AP) Turned out there was no lingering hangover from the disappointment of a week earlier for Washington. Big plays and a quick start have the Huskies bowl eligible for a fifth-straight season. More.

Mariota has 4 TDs and Ducks beat Buffaloes 44-10


(AP) Marcus Mariota got his curtain call at Autzen Stadium. With the 44-10 victory already in hand Saturday against Colorado, No. 3 Oregon sent its Heisman-hopeful quarterback out for the first snap of the fourth quarter . . . more.

The FAN's NFL Page


Follow your favorite teams and players - for stats, previews, recaps and realtime gamecasts, make The FAN's NFL Page your pro football destination.

NFL fines Lynch $50,000 for not speaking to media


(AP) For all the noise he creates on the field, Marshawn Lynch's silence with the media has now cost him six figures in fines. The NFL fined Seattle's star $50,000 . . . more.

The FAN's College Football Page


Ducks, Beavers, Pac-12, you name it! For the latest stories and real time scores, head to The FAN's college football page here.