A second half burst and a stronger defensive effort sent the Portland Trail Blazers off to a good start on their five-game road trip.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A second half burst and a stronger defensive effort sent the Portland Trail Blazers off to a good start on their five-game road trip.
Brandon Roy scored 20 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points and 12 rebounds, and the Trail Blazers won their third straight with a 93-79 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.
"This means a lot for us as far as momentum goes, and as far as chemistry goes," Aldridge said of starting a stretch where Portland plays five games in seven days. "I think we did a great job of making our chemistry better."
Steve Blake and Greg Oden had 14 points each for Portland, all of Oden's coming in the second half.
Marc Gasol led Memphis with 20 points, while O.J. Mayo scored 17.
The Grizzlies, who dropped their sixth straight, still were without guard Allen Iverson, who left the team last weekend, with owner Michael Heisley's blessing, after playing three games on the West Coast.
Memphis center Hasheem Thabeet, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft, suffered a fractured jaw late in the first quarter when he collided with the head of teammate Zach Randolph (11 points, 12 rebounds).
The Trail Blazers have now won eight straight in the series.
Portland broke open the game with a 14-1 run in the third period erasing a Memphis lead. The Grizzlies never really threatened after Portland rebuilt the lead to double digits on Oden's dunk with 10 minutes left in the game. Oden, who was in foul trouble in the first half, made a difference after intermission.
"I was only in there about 4 minutes," Oden said of the first half, "so there wasn't enough time for me to establish myself. I think guys kept looking for me, and I'm thankful for that."
Randolph's layup with 13.6 seconds left in the half tied the game at 45.
Neither team held a lead of more than 6 in the half. There were seven ties and 13 lead changes before the break.
Aldridge had 12 points to lead the Trail Blazers, while Roy had 10 at intermission. The pair was a combined 9-of-11 from the field.
Gasol had 12 points for Memphis.
Portland eventually put together the 14-1 rally, extending the Trail Blazers lead to 67-55, their largest advantage of the game at that point. Memphis was struggling from the field, hitting only four of its first 16 shots in the quarter.
"We just had an awful stretch," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "Four turnovers, a missed shot and then a couple of breakdowns defensively. We just lose our concentration and focus for that short period of time, and the next thing you know, we're down 10 points."
The Grizzlies were able to whittle away at the lead, and Gasol's 3-point play with 6.3 seconds left in the third quarter, cut the Portland advantage to 69-61 entering the fourth.
Memphis made only 31 percent of its shots in the second half, committed seven turnovers and allowed Portland to run successfully.
"In the second half, we held them to 34 points, and were able to get out and get some easy baskets," Portland coach Nate McMillan said.
"In the first half, we had zero fastbreak points. In the second half, we ended up with 10."
Notes: Memphis last defeated Portland on March 29, 2007. ... Portland has won 25 straight games over NBA teams that start with the letter M (Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee and Minnesota). ... Travis Outlaw's tip at the end of the first half was ruled to have come after the horn. Officials reviewed the play before letting the ruling stand. ... Memphis is 1-7 and off to its worst start since 2005-06 when the team started 1-8. ... Someone asked Mayo about the officiating, and he shook his head. "No comment. Gotta save my money." ... Randolph posted his fifth straight double-double. ... The Trail Blazers connected on nine 3-pointers, while Memphis made only one of its 10 from outside the arc. Opponents have made more 3-pointers than Memphis in every game this season.