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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 6th (All times Eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (28-31) at Memphis Grizzlies (39-19), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Memphis Grizzlies return home after a brief road trip Wednesday night when they welcome the Portland Trail Blazers to FedEx Forum.
The Grizzlies had an eight-game winning streak snapped on Friday when they fell to the Miami Heat in South Beach, 98-91. All-Star forward Zach Randolph sprained his ankle in the loss, but played through the pain to complete the game.
He didn't give it a go the next night in Orlando, but Memphis didn't need him. Six Grizzlies scored in double figures, led by 14 from Tayshaun Prince, to drub the Magic, 108-82.
Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Marc Gasol, Quincy Pondexter and Ed Davis also reached double-digits. Gasol added 11 assists and Davis pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Grizzlies, who are 23-8 at home and 20-13 against the Western Conference, jumped out to a 25-point lead at the half and cruised over the last two frames.
"We're not the dark horse any more. We're one of those teams that's up there so they're going to give us their best effort," said Pondexter. "We've just got to come out like tonight and take care of business, be professional and get the win."
The Blazers went 3-1 over a recent homestand and won the last two of the residency. They beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 109-94 on Saturday, then bested the Charlotte Bobcats 122-105 on Monday.
The 122 points against Charlotte was the second-highest total of the season for Portland. The Blazers put up 125 in an overtime victory over the Magic on Jan. 7.
On Monday, seven Blazers scored in double figures, led by 23 from LaMarcus Aldridge and 20 apiece from Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard. Eric Maynor and Meyers Leonard scored 10 and 15 points, respectively, off the bench.
Monday's game marked the second straight two Portland bench players scored in double figures. That's huge for a Blazers team that is last in the NBA in bench scoring, and last by quite a sizable number.
"Yeah, I think he's found a rotation that he's liking right now," Aldridge said of head coach Terry Stotts.
The Blazers will play three straight through the south, visiting Memphis, the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Hornets.
The Blazers won this season's only matchup with Memphis, an 86-84 road victory on Jan. 4. Portland has taken six of its last eight against the Grizzlies and is 9-2 in its last 11 in Memphis.
03/06 10:39:47 ET
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