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Trail Blazers snap Grizzlies streak

  1. Written by: KevinHudson

    The Portland Trail Blazers won their second consecutive game Tuesday, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 97-84 behind 23 points from LaMarcus Aldridge and 22 rebounds from Marcus Camby.

    The loss snapped Memphis' 7-game winning streak and lifted Portland (11-7) to 8-1 at home this season in the team's 168th consecutive sellout.

    The game was tight through two quarters and the Trail Blazers took a four-point lead into the locker room at halftime thanks in large part to the hot-handed Aldridge, who was 5-5 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line for 14 points before he missed his first shot of the game in the second quarter.

    The Trail Blazers gained separation by dominating the defensive end of the floor in the third, holding Memphis to just three field goals in a 13-point quarter for the Grizzlies that ended with the Trail Blazers ahead by 14 points.

    The lead ballooned to as many as 20 points early in the fourth quarter, then dwindled as McMillan emptied the bench, using all 13 active players at his disposal down the stretch to rest key players while maintaining a comfortable final margin.

    "We’re still working on our rhythm. We’re still working on execution. What I do see is guys challenging each other. When we’re not doing what we’re supposed to do, I’m hearing them talk to each other, challenge each other," McMillan said. "The first words when I walked in the locker room tonight, from Gerald Wallace: 'Let’s not just be happy with two. Let’s go get this game tomorrow night.' Those are the things I’m hearing and we’ve just got to continue to build our rhythm and our style of play."

    Aldridge finished at 8-of-13 from the field for the game, leading all scorers with 23 points while grabbing six rebounds and three assists. His eight field goals moved him past Kevin Duckworth for tenth on the Trail Blazers all-time field goals made list.

    Camby's game-high 22 rebounds were complemented by five blocks, two steals and an assist. He outrebounded the entire Grizzlies squad 8-5 in the first quarter alone.

    Camby's fourth game back from a sprained ankle marked the fourth consecutive game that the Trail Blazers have won the rebounding battle, this time 50-39 over Memphis.

    "I thought Camby was just great defending the basket and rebounding the ball for us," McMillan said. "When we get guys going to the boards, it leads to transition and the tempo we want, but a lot of times when Camby is cleaning up the boards like this, we assume. So tomorrow night we cant assume Camby is going to be there to get all the boards, we’ve got to help him on the boards."

    Gerald Wallace joined Camby in double-digit boards with 11 while scoring seven points, two steals and an assist. Jamal Crawford led the way off the bench with 15 points, Wes Matthews had 13 points and Raymond Felton and Nicolas Batum chipped in 10 points each to total five players in double-figures for Portland.

    Memphis (10-7) was led by OJ Mayo with 20 points off the bench on 8-of-15 shooting, followed by Rudy Gay with 1 points on 5-of-15 from the field. Forward Marreese Speights led the Grizzlies with six rebounds.

    Portland travels to the Bay Area to take on the Golden State Warriors Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., with a chance to earn a sweep in the final game of the team's first back-to-back-to-back since 1999, when they swept one of the three times they played three games on consecutive nights.

    The game will be broadcast locally on KGW (Channel 8). 750 AM The Game and NBA Audio League Pass will have the call.

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