• Brandon Maier

Grizzlies Roast Blazers in Game 1

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*Photo via Getty

The Memphis barbeque was cookin’ tonight, and burnt those Trailblazers right to a crisp.

In game 2 of the TNT triple-header, the Memphis Grizzlies thumped the Portland Trailblazers, 100-86, though the game wasn’t as close as the final score suggests.

This game opened with Memphis being exactly who they are: a rough and tough defensive team, with superior low-post play. Their first two buckets, a Marc Gasol driving layup, and a Zach Randolph up and under a-la Kevin McHale, were a precursor to the clinic given the rest of the night. After Memphis continued to miss lay-up after lay-up, Portland seemed lucky to only be down 10-8 midway through the first quarter.

Memphis’ stifling defense had already seemed to get into LaMarcus Aldridge’s head when he was called for an early Technical foul for throwing the ball towards the baseline during a dead-ball. With continued suffocating defense, and Gasol’s stellar play, Memphis secured a 58-39 lead heading to the break.

The Grizzlies’ dominating performance continued in the second half, expunging even their most benign flaws. The lead ballooned to 24 at the end of the 3rd quarter, with Damian Lillard still struggling to gain any semblance of consistency. Mike Conley’s offensive aggression and his ability to penetrate the paint kept the foot on the gas peddle. Portland tried to make a few surges throughout the 4th quarter, but Memphis’ team play successfully protected their swollen lead.

Memphis’ leading scorer was Beno Udrih, off the bench, recording 20 points on 9-10 shooting, while adding 7 assists and 7 boards.

LaMarcus Aldridge tallied 32 points and 14 rebounds on 13 of 34 shooting in the losing effort.

Memorable Moment – Half man, half amazing (Vince Carter) missed a wide open dunk down the lane. Maybe a moment to forget for him – but a moment to remember for us.

Stud of the Game: Marc Gasol-Udrih was incredible, but with a line of 15 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks and a steal, and his impact on the defensive end, Marc Gasol deserves the notoriety.

Dud of the Game: Damian Lillard- 5 of 21 shooting for 14 points. If Portland wants to win, even a game of this series, Lillard will need to find the touch.

Stat of the Game: Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge combined to shoot 18 of 55 from the field. Say what you want about defense, but if your two stars are going to shoot a combined 32.7%, you have no chance of winning any game against a team as strong as Memphis.

Memphis had its way with Portland all night on both ends of the court. Portland will have to find a way to contain the quickness of Conley and Udrih if they want to contend in this series. If Lillard can’t find a way to orchestrate the Portland offense consistently, the Trailblazers will be lucky to not get swept.

Game two Wednesday at 8:00pm on TNT

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