PORTLAND, Ore. -- Defense wins championships, but it doesn't hurt in regular-season games, either.
The Memphis Grizzlies proved that again Tuesday night, holding the Portland Trail Blazers to 40.5 percent shooting in a 102-97 victory at the Rose Garden.
The Grizzlies are physical, Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "They play great team defense, play great individual defense.
"It was a struggle to score all night. We didn't shoot the ball well. Part of that was us; part of that was their good defense."
Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph made a triumphant return after missing four games with a sprained ankle, collecting 19 points and 10 rebounds. Memphis (43-19) improved to 13-1 in its past 14 games.
"He made (the Blazers) pay in the paint," said Memphis center Marc Gasol, who scored 20 points. "There's no way around it -- we need Zach."
Mike Conley had 14 points and 15 assists, and Ed Davis contributed 14 points and nine boards off the bench for Memphis, which shot 51.3 percent from the field and held large advantages in points in the paint (52-40) and fast-break points (17-6).
LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds, and Damian Lillard collected 27 points and seven assists for Portland (29-34). The Blazers lost for the third time in four games.
It was at the defensive end where the Grizzlies really made their mark.
"They make it hard to get good looks," Lillard said. "They're consistent with making it tough on you. They run guys off the 3-point line, and they contest every shot. They're really good at what they do."
Memphis extended an eight-point halftime lead to 66-51 on Davis' driving layup with 3:05 left in the third quarter.
The Blazers followed with a 7-0 run to get within 66-58. The Grizzlies took a 68-58 advantage into the fourth period, then moved in front 79-67. But the Blazers battled back, drawing to within 83-78 on Eric Maynor's driving layup with 3:47 remaining.
Tayshaun Prince doused the flame with a 3-pointer to give Memphis an 86-78 advantage, but Portland stayed with it, cutting the Grizzlies' edge to 100-97 on three free throws by Maynor with two seconds to go.
Jerryd Bayless sank two foul shots with 1.5 seconds left as Memphis finally put Portland away.
"We played hard all night and controlled the game," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "We made some not-so-smart plays down the stretch, fouling guys when we shouldn't have, but we made enough free throws and made enough plays.
"It was a nice win against a very tough ballclub that wouldn't quit."
The teams exited the first quarter tied at 21-21, Lillard doing the heavy scoring for Portland with nine points, Conley dishing off six assists for the Grizzlies.
Portland led 27-25 before the Grizzlies went on an 11-2 run to seize a 36-29 advantage midway through the second quarter. The margin was as many as nine points before Memphis settled for a 48-40 edge at the half.
Aldridge had 12 points and four rebounds in the half, while three Grizzlies -- Randolph, Gasol and Davis -- scored 10 before the break.
NOTES: Lillard scored 20-plus points for the seventh game in a row. ... Randolph notched his 36th double-double of the season to break a tie with Portland's J.J. Hickson and move into second in the NBA behind Golden State's David Lee (42). ... Aldridge had his 29th double-double. ... Hickson shot 3-for-10 from the field, ending a franchise-record streak of 25 games shooting 50 percent or better. It was the fourth-longest such streak in the NBA in the past 25 years. He ended the night with eight points and nine rebounds. ... Portland scored 39 points in the fourth quarter, the most points given up in a single period by Memphis all season. ... Grizzlies backup forward Darrell Arthur (neck/back soreness) missed his fourth straight game. ... Rookie center Meyers Leonard, who missed Sunday's loss at New Orleans with a right ankle sprain, returned to action for the Trail Blazers, contributing six points and seven rebounds off the bench. ... Portland backup forward Victor Claver (ankle) missed his second straight game.