PORTLAND continued its surge with a tough win over Memphis as the Blazers blew an 18-point lead but hung on to beat the Grizzlies, 112-109, on Friday (Saturday, Manila time) at the Moda Center.
Damian Lillard got going with 33 points, including five triples, as Portland led by as much as 18 in the second quarter, 56-38, before Memphis cut the gap down to six at the half. The Grizzlies even went on a 9-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to take the lead, 88-85.
The fourth period saw five lead changes, until Lillard scored 11 straight points late for Portland to take control for good.
Mike Conley’s free throws got Memphis within one but CJ McCollum scored on a floater to put Portland up 112-109 with 1:13 left. Both teams traded misses until Tony Allen stole the ball off Lillard but missed both free throws. Marc Gasol got the offensive board and handed the ball to Conley, who missed his game-tying three-point attempt. Al-Farouq Aminu then blocked Vince Carter, who got Conley’s miss, to deny the Grizzlies comeback.
Allen Crabbe added 23 points, including six treys, off the bench for Portland, who improved to 21-27 after its third straight win. McCollum finished with 18 markers.
Gasol led Memphis (27-21) with 32 points. Conley and Zach Randolph each scored 17 and ended up with double-doubles as the Grizzlies guard got 10 assists while the veteran forward grabbed 13 boards.