Late Run Falls Short
Memphis coasted along through most of the third and fourth quarters last night with a double digit lead. The Grizzlies led 91-79 with four minute remaining, but the Portland Trailblazers went on a big run to make a game of it.
BOXSCORE | RECAP
Memphis 93, Portland 89
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 21, 2012
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
Officials: #54 Nick Buchert, #26 Pat Fraher, #23 Jason Phillips
The Blazers closed to within 91-89, and they actually had a shot to take the lead with nine seconds left, but it was blocked.
In the end, Memphis closed out a tough 93-89 victory over the Blazers.
It’s hard to describe how great of a pickup J.J. Hickson has been for the Blazers this year. Hickson has been the team’s best player over the last few weeks. He led the team with 23 points and 13 boards last night. He grabbed seven offensive rebounds. Portland needs to find a way to keep him on board for next year.
Much Better Defense
In the last few games Portland had played horrible defense, but they did much better last night. The Grizzlies shot just 44.4% from the floor overall, and they hit only 4 out of 17 three-point attempts. Portland held the Grizzlies to 11 fastbreak points, which showed they did a much better job of getting back in transition.
It was good to see Hasheem Thabeet getting minutes, but he didn’t put the ball in the basket. He was 1 for 5 from the floor and just 1 for 4 from the charity stripe.
Portland doesn’t need him to be a big scorer, but a big man has to shoot a better percentage than that.
After having an impressive game last time out, Jonny Flynn was bad in this one. He missed all five of his shots from the floor, and he committed three turnovers. Flynn is still a bit of an unknown at this point.
Points in the Paint
Even though they had 16 offensive rebounds and more second chance points than the Grizzlies, Portland was still dominated in the points inside the paint category.
Memphis piled up 58 points in the paint compared to the Blazers 32.
Just two games remain in the season for Portland.
The Blazers will travel to San Antonio to play the Spurs on Monday night.