Marc Gasol, Grizzlies continue domination of Blazers in Game 3 win
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)—Marc Gasol had 25 points and the Memphis Grizzlies took a 3-0 lead in their playoff series over the Trail Blazers by withstanding a late Portland rally for a 115-109 victory on Saturday night.
Courtney Lee had 20 points and Mike Conley added 14 before leaving the game late in the third quarter with a facial injury. Memphis was already thin at point guard with reserve Beno Udrih sidelined with a sprained right ankle.
Game 4 is Monday night at Portland.
The Grizzlies led by as many as 14 points but Portland closed within 90-82 with 7:28 after three free throws from Nicolas Batum. Gasol responded with two jumpers to end the threat until Arron Afflalo's 3-pointer pulled Portland to 94-87.
Batum's three-pointer got Portland as close as 94-91 with 2:23 left. But Tony Allen's basket ended Portland's 9-0 run and Randolph added free throws. Allen's fast-break dunk with 1:14 left all but sealed it for the Grizzlies. Batum had another three-pointer to make it 100-94 but Portland couldn't catch up.
Batum finished with 27 points for the Blazers, who have dropped seven straight games, including four to wrap up the regular season. C.J. McCollum added 26.
[daily_cut.NBA]Zach Randolph added 16 points and the Grizzlies won their seventh straight against Portland, including a sweep of the four-game regular season series.
Memphis made the most of getting home court advantage for just the second time in the team's playoff history, taking the first two games including Wednesday's 97-82 victory in Game 2. Udrih, who had 20 points in the opener, hurt the ankle in the first half of Game 2, but returned in the third quarter and finished with 10 points. He warmed up Saturday night but ultimately didn't play. Kosta Koufos made a hook shot that gave Memphis its biggest lead of the first half, 40-28. Memphis went on to lead 62-49 at halftime, scoring 30 points in the paint and 57.5% shooting.
LaMarcus Aldridge struggled from the field in the first half, going just 1-of-10. He finished with 21 points.
Randolph's layup midway through the third quarter put the Grizzlies up 70-56. But Conley was hurt late in the period, going down after he appeared to be caught by McCollum's elbow.
Conley stayed on his hands and knees for several moments before heading to the locker room with a towel to his face. He did not return.
Afflalo returned to the Blazers after missing the first two games of the series with a right shoulder strain. After coming to the Blazers via a trade with Denver at the deadline, Afflalo was a key contributor when starter Wesley Matthews ruptured his Achilles in March and was lost for the season.