Trail Blazers 135, Grizzlies 132, 2OT
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—When the Portland Trail Blazers needed a leader down the stretch, they jumped on Zach’s back.
“They came out and gave the ball to Zach Randolph, and he did what all franchise players do in this league. He delivered,” Memphis guard Chucky Atkins said. “He made big plays. He got big rebounds for them and putbacks, and he did everything he needed to for his team to win.”
Randolph was 16-of-40 from the field and scored 13 points in the overtimes to help the Trail Blazers rally from a 16-point deficit early in the second half. His 3-pointer with 38 seconds left clinched Portland’s third win in the last four games.
“I didn’t have any idea how many shots I had taken,” Randolph said of the 40 attempts, the highest in franchise history. “They told me after the game, and I was like, ‘What?’ When you’re in that zone, you don’t think about it.”
The teams were tied at 111 at the end of regulation and were still deadlocked at 116 after the first extra period.
The 135 points were a season high for the Trail Blazers, as were their 27 assists.
The Blazers turned things around with a 38-point third quarter. Portland took its first lead of the game on a 3-pointer by Udoka with 9:10 left in regulation.
The teams were tied nine times in the fourth and neither held more than a one-possession lead in most of the period. Warrick’s basket with a minute left in regulation tied the game at 111.
From there, it was Randolph’s show, partly because someone forgot the scouting report that said the left-hander preferred to go, amazingly, to his left.
“I wasn’t able to cut off his left hand,” said Gasol, who had the defensive assignment. “I did a couple of times, and he did miss the shot. I should have done it a little more and made him go right.
“He made some shots, and got going and got confident. He kept going to his left, which I should have done a better job of cutting off.”
Portland benefited from 16 offensive rebounds that led to a 23-8 advantage in second-chance points. The Trail Blazers also outscored Memphis 72-52 in the paint, further evidence of the inside dominance.
“They did a good job of pounding the ball inside,” Memphis interim coach Tony Barone said. “They caught the ball in the paint 31 times and that led to 34 points, whether it was field goals or free throws. The one stat the killed us tonight was second-chance points. … You can’t give up that many second-chance points in any game.”
Miller and Gasol helped the Grizzlies build a 59-47 halftime advantage. Miller, connecting on 4-of-8 from outside the arc, had 18, while Gasol added 14 in the first half. Eddie Jones provided 10 in a supporting role.
Martell Webster led Portland with 10 of his 12 points in the first half. Randolph missed six of his first seven shots and was 4-of-13 from the field before the break. That contributed to Portland’s starters shooting a combined 8-of-22 in the half.
But the Grizzlies got sloppy after extending the lead to 16 in the early stages of the second half. The turnovers led to a 15-3 Portland run. The Blazers tied it at 79 late in the third, but Memphis led 87-85 entering the fourth.
Randolph said the rally showed the difference in Portland this season.
“Last year, we would have lost a game like this by 30,” he said.
Portland coach Nate McMillan agreed, especially after his team followed a 99-69 loss in Houston on Friday night by starting the game flat. To re-energize from that start and come back for the victory made it special.
“We won a hell of a game. A back-to-back, double overtime on the road,” McMillan said. “That’s big.”
Gasol returned to action after missing Friday night’s game at San Antonio with a hamstring injury. It was Gasol’s first home appearance since his request for a trade was made public a week ago. The 7-foot Spaniard was met with some boos during pregame introductions, but the rising crescendo of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck seemed to drown out most of the sound. … The Grizzlies have not won the second game of a back-to-back all season. Saturday’s loss left them 0-13. … Portland was playing the second game of a three-game tour of the bottom three teams in the Southwest Division. The Trail Blazers will finish the trip Monday at the Hornets. … During a timeout with 28 seconds left in regulation and the game tied at 111, the streamers came down from the rafters of the FedExForum prematurely, part of the postgame celebration if the Grizzlies win.