Blazers hold off Grizzlies
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Nicolas Batum knocked down four three-pointers en route to 24 points to help the Portland Trail Blazers hang on to a 97-93 victory over Memphis at Rose Garden on Thursday.
Wesley Matthews scored 18, Jamal Crawford added 17 and LaMarcus Aldridge tallied 16 for Portland, which had lost two straight entering the game. Raymond Felton netted 13 points to go with nine assists and zero turnovers.
Marc Gasol paced the Grizzlies with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Tony Allen poured in 17 points and Mike Conley added 13 points but Memphis fell to 0-2 on its four-game road trip.
"It's a lot of things, but it's just energy and effort, our focus and our discipline," said Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins after the game. "Our discipline is out the window. We're just gambling all over the court and putting everybody in jeopardy."
Portland went 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds and finished the game a perfect 25-for-25 from the stripe to finish off the Grizzlies.
O.J. Mayo opened the fourth with a jumper to press the Grizzlies' lead to five, but Portland rallied with seven straight as Crawford's fadeaway jumper reclaimed the lead for the home team.
With their lead sitting at one shortly after, Portland reeled off six straight, but Allen scored 11 of the next 14 for Memphis to bring them within three, 91-88, with 2:15 to play.
However, neither team could muster a field goal over the next two minutes, allowing the Trail Blazers to hang on to the lead from the free throw line.
"We want our team identity to be on the defensive end of the floor," said Portland interim head coach Kaleb Canales. "We thought as a staff we came to defend tonight for 48 minutes. We did a good job of executing down the stretch. I thought we were active and we came out and we executed tonight."
Earlier in the game, Portland led by as many as seven in the first, but Memphis tallied four straight points before Luke Babbitt sank a three-pointer at the first quarter buzzer to give the Blazers a 26-20 edge after one.
Gilbert Arenas got his first bucket as a member of the Grizzlies in a back- and-forth second quarter that found the home team with a 49-44 edge heading into the locker room.
With the difference still at five in the third, Rudy Gay sank a three to spark a 14-2 run to give Memphis a 64-57 lead with just under three minutes left in the stanza.
A late charge from the Trail Blazers trimmed the Memphis lead down to three, 69-66, heading into the final frame.
Memphis will travel to Los Angeles for the Clippers on Saturday and Lakers on Sunday to wrap up a four-game road trip. Portland also heads to LA to take on the Lakers on Friday...Gay finished with 10 points and five rebounds for Memphis.
03/23 01:43:59 ET