Green scores 23, Conley 21 as Grizzlies beat Blazers 97-86 - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Green scores 23, Conley 21 as Grizzlies beat Blazers 97-86

By CLAY BAILEY
Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Jeff Green had 23 points and Mike Conley scored 21 with nine assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 97-86 victory over the struggling Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

Zach Randolph added 17 points for Memphis, which won its second straight. Marc Gasol had 13 points, and Tony Allen finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 27 points and seven assists. LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 points, but didn't play in the second half because of an injury to his left hand. C.J. McCollum finished with 13 points, and Dorell Wright scored 10.

The Trail Blazers also played the second half without starting forward Nicolas Batum, sidelined with lower back pain. The team said X-rays on Aldridge's hand were negative.

The loss was the season-worst fourth straight for Portland, which was creeping up the Western Conference standings a week ago. The defeat dropped the Trail Blazers four games behind the Grizzlies for the second playoff seed in the West.

What started out as a good shooting night for both teams ended with both slipping near 40 percent - Memphis shooting 42 percent to 43 percent for Portland.

Memphis, however, connected on 11 of 18 from outside the arc, including Green going 5 of 7 and Conley 3 for 5. The 11 3-pointers matched Memphis' season high.

Both teams shot better than 60 percent in the first quarter.

Memphis couldn't keep the pace, missing its first 10 shots in the second and going almost six minutes without scoring. Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers crafted an 11-0 run.

Memphis reversed the trend, eventually carrying a 53-44 lead into the break behind 15 points from Conley and 10 from Allen, with the backcourt pair hitting all 10 of its shots in the half.

Memphis built the lead to double digits early in the second half, and the Grizzlies maintained the advantage through the third quarter.

Portland managed to cut into the lead in the fourth, but Memphis was able to stay in front with Randolph scoring 11 points in the final period.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: The loss marked Portland's first four-game skid in a year. . Portland has lost nine of its last 10 to Memphis. . Portland C Chris Kaman sat out with a right shoulder strain sustained in Friday night's loss at Orlando. . Portland wrapped up a five-game road trip.

Grizzlies: Memphis played without guard Courtney Lee, who was out with a sore right hand. . The Grizzlies scored 35 points in the first quarter, their most in an opening period this season. ... Memphis won all four games against Portland this season, the first season sweep of the Trail Blazers in franchise history.

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: Host the Warriors on Tuesday.

Grizzlies: Visit the Knicks on Monday.

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