PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland used a strong defensive effort to end its recent struggles in the second games of back-to-backs.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points and Marcus Camby grabbed a season-high 22 rebounds as the Trail Blazers beat Memphis 97-84 on Tuesday night, ending the Grizzlies’ seven-game winning streak.
Portland limited Memphis to 38 per cent shooting (34 of 90). The Blazers’ defence was particularly notable during the third quarter, when the Grizzlies went more than nine minutes before getting their first field goal of the second half.
Portland, coming off a win against Sacramento on Monday night, had lost four straight times in the back end of back-to-backs, but ended that trend against Memphis with a terrific defensive effort led by Camby.
The 15-year veteran grabbed 12 rebounds during the first half and finished with a season-high five blocks.
“Right place at the right time. I’ve been around for a while so I just play the angles and try to put myself in the best position to read the trajectory,” Camby said. “Considering the opponent and them riding a seven-game winning streak, it was definitely a good win.”
Jamal Crawford scored 15 points, Wesley Matthews added 13 and Nicolas Batum and Raymond Felton had 10 each for the Trail Blazers.
With Camby leading the way, Portland outrebounded Memphis 50-39.
“Camby took it upon himself to make sure we got every rebound, so I thought he really took care of business tonight,” Aldridge said.
Memphis’ starting five scored just 36 points and shot just 15 of 51 from the field. O.J. Mayo came off the bench to lead the Grizzlies with 20 points. Rudy Gay, Memphis’ leading scorer at 18.9 points per game, had just 11.
Like Portland, the Grizzlies were playing their second game in two nights. In Memphis’ case, it might have been spent after rallying from a 20-point deficit to beat Golden State on Monday.
The Grizzlies missed their first 12 shots of the third, and coach Lionel Hollins sensed his team was sluggish even in the first half.
“When you’re a little bit fatigued it’s hard to keep attacking. You want to settle, and we did settle too much,” Hollins said.
Aldridge hit his first five shots and scored 14 points during the first quarter as the Blazers won consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 10.
The Trail Blazers led 47-43 at halftime despite committing 13 turnovers in the opening two periods. Memphis took advantage of eight Portland turnovers in the first quarter, finishing the period with a 15-5 run to tie the score at 25-all.
Late in the second quarter, the Grizzlies took a 43-42 lead on back-to-back fastbreak dunks by Gay, but Portland scored the final five points of the half.
Portland’s defence took over in the third quarter as it opened up a 64-45 lead.
Portland led by 20 points during the fourth quarter. Batum scored all of his 10 points during the second half.
NOTES: During one stretch of the game, Portland made 18 consecutive free throws. The Blazers were 30 of 36 overall. … Portland finishes its first back-to-back-to-back of the season Wednesday at Golden State. … The loss dropped Memphis out of a first-place tie with Dallas and San Antonio in the Southwest Division. …. The Grizzlies were trying for their longest winning streak since Jan. 2004.