Portland 110, Memphis 98
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — With a double-digit deficit to make up, the Portland Trail Blazers needed a lift. Brandon Roy and Jarrett Jack gave it to them.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and 10 rebounds, Roy had 22 points and eight assists and the Blazers rallied to beat Memphis 100-98 Friday night.
Jack had 17 of his 22 points in the second half for Portland, which shot 51 percent and has won two in a row at home after an 0-3 road trip to open the season.
Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 31 points. Pau Gasol had all of his 19 in the first half.
Kyle Lowry had 14 points for Memphis, Darko Milicic had 10 rebounds and Mike Miller had nine points.
For the first half the Blazers seemed to be on their way to their fourth consecutive loss to Memphis at the Rose Garden. But they shut down Gasol, who attempted just one shot in the second half, and Roy keyed an 11-0 third quarter rally that all but erased Memphis’ 12-point halftime lead. Roy scored 18 in the second half and Jack hit 5 of 6 shots after halftime.
It was pretty much the way Blazers coach Nate McMillan was hoping.
“We want the ball in the hands of our best player,” McMillan said. “That’s what other teams do. In Denver, the ball is in Carmelo (Anthony)’s hands. The Lakers put the ball in Kobe (Bryant)’s hands, and we want Brandon to have it.”
Defense was the difference in the second half and the Grizzlies withered, making just 13 of 41 shots after shooting 50 percent before halftime.
While Portland blanketed Gasol, the Grizzlies didn’t do the same to Aldridge, who so impressed the Blazers as a rookie last year that they traded away Zach Randolph to make room for him at power forward. Aldridge showed his range, scoring both down low and on jumpers several feet past the free-throw line. He shot 12-of-20 and made 6-of-7 free throws.
Gasol made eight of his first nine shots, including two free throws at 7:33 in the second, giving Memphis a 40-27 lead. But the Blazers switched to a double-team and neutralized Gasol, who didn’t attempt a shot again until the middle of the fourth.
“They got a flow and we were with our hands down, Gasol said. “We should have done the things we did in the first half.”