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Blazers-Grizzlies: Portland Can't Overcome Long Midgame Drought

Busta BucketCorrespondent INovember 28, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 20:  Greg Oden #52 of the Portland Trail Blazers dunks against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA game at Oracle Arena on November 20, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

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If NBA games had a fifth period, the Blazers might have been able to pull this game out. Then again, there's no reason to believe the Grizzlies would have stopped having an answer for every Portland comeback attempt.

The Blazers gave Memphis everything they had in the second half, outscoring the Grizzlies 57-45, but it wasn't enough as Memphis dominated Portland 106-96.

The game started out as expected with Portland holding an early 15-11 lead midway through the first quarter. Then what became an insurmountable lead began to take effect as Memphis continued to take it to the rim and get to the line as Portland continued to take jumpers and turn the ball over.

The dreadful quarter was fittingly capped off with Brandon Roy (uncharacteristically unaware of the game clock winding down) failing to get a shot off, followed by a chorus of well-deserved boos from the home crowd.

Memphis ended the quarter on an 18-0 run, holding the Blazers to 28% shooting.

Oh, but they weren't done yet. The Blazers were stuck with 15 points until about the 6:40 mark of the second quarter when Brandon Roy finally hit a jumper to end the long drought. By then the Grizzlies had done too much damage.

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Memphis continued to pour it on as they seemingly couldn't miss, racking up 61 first-half points and heading into the locker room with a 22 point first half lead.

The Blazers came out and gradually fought back in the second half but every time Portland seemed to be making a move, Memphis would have an answer.

There was a feeling that although the Blazers were down double-digits for the majority of the game, they would find a way to sneak out a win. They were playing Memphis, after all.

Portland got the lead, which had gotten as high as 29, down to single-digits in the fourth and you had the feeling that they just might do it. But Memphis always had an answer.

It's hard to blame anyone for this loss. Memphis simply came to the Rose Garden and played a great game. The Blazers got worked. Z-Bo always seems to play well when he comes back to town, finishing with a typical 21 point, 9 rebound game.

Marc Gasol played fantastic, finishing with 19, 15, and 5. OJ Mayo had a solid night with 19 points.

The bench played well, as Hasheem Thabeet was terrific in the paint during the fourth quarter and Jamal Tinsley seemed to do whatever he wanted.

Memphis came to the Rose Garden and handed Portland its third home loss of the season, leaving Blazer fans with a sour taste as the team heads down to Salt Lake City for a meeting with the Jazz.

  • Hearing the boos at home (and deserving them)
  • Continuing to struggle at the foul line
  • Not much help from the bench
  • Roy and Aldridge playing 40+ minutes one night before heading to Utah
  • Martell gaining confidence
  • No one got injured
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