Final

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/6

Game 1: Wednesday, November 6th
Grizzlies88Final
Trail Blazers94
Game 2: Wednesday, January 15th
Grizzlies92Final
Trail Blazers100
Game 3: Monday, January 20th
Trail Blazers99Final
Grizzlies87
Game 4: Friday, April 11th
Trail Blazers93Final
Grizzlies96

Trail Blazers 93

(48-31, 23-17 away)

    Coverage: FSS

    7:00 PM ET, April 11, 2003

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 34 20 21 1893
    MEM 20 27 32 1796

    Top Performers

    Portland: Z. Randolph 31 Pts, 20 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Memphis: S. Swift 19 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Stl, 3 Blk

    Portland blows big first-half lead in losing at Memphis

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Portland Trail Blazers had their chances for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs hurt by the Memphis Grizzlies.

    Portland squandered a 20-point, first-half lead, and lost 96-93 to the Grizzlies on Friday night.

    The defeat, coupled with Minnesota's 106-90 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, left the Timberwolves in the Western Conference's fourth spot, and dropped Portland into a tie with the idle Los Angeles Lakers for fifth. Portland and the Lakers play Sunday.

    ''It damaged our chances for home-court advantage,'' Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said. ''It definitely put a dent in our chances.''

    Stromile Swift and Pau Gasol led five Memphis players in double figures. Swift had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Gasol had 18 points and 10 rebounds.

    The Grizzlies overcame career bests of 31 points and 20 rebounds by Portland's Zach Randolph, who had played sparingly since serving a two-game team suspension for punching teammate Ruben Patterson. Randolph, starting for an injured Dale Davis, connected on 13 of 25 shots.

    ''It was my career night, but it would have looked better if we had won,'' Randolph said. ''I got a chance. The last two games, I played nine and 11 minutes. Tonight, I got 39 minutes. I just want to get minutes. I knew I was going to get a chance to play a lot.''

    Jason Williams added 15 points and 12 assists, and Wesley Person and Shane Battier had 13 points each for the Grizzlies.

    ''We had 10 guys who made major contributions,'' Memphis coach Hubie Brown said. ''To us, this was a team that we needed to win against and a good team to beat.''

    Bonzi Wells added 24 points and Rasheed Wallace 19 for the Trail Blazers.

    Memphis didn't seal the game until Person grabbed a miss with about six seconds left and was fouled. He converted both free throws with 3.2 seconds left for the final margin.

    Derek Anderson's 3-point try for Portland with less than a second left was short.

    Portland led 89-87 on a dunk by Arvydas Sabonis with just less than five minutes left. But Williams responded with a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and Memphis never trailed thereafter.

    The Trail Blazers, relying on strength inside, took a 54-47 lead at the break after leading by as many as 20 points in the first half.

    Randolph, starting his first game since Jan. 29, dominated the interior. With only a minute gone in the second quarter, the second-year player from Michigan State had a double-double. By halftime, he matched his career high, leading Portland with 21 points.

    ''It was effort,'' Battier said of the Grizzlies' first-half performance. ''Zach Randolph is a bull, and he played very physical. We didn't match his physical play, and the second half we did.''

    The Trail Blazers had 30 points in the paint, compared to 14 for the Grizzlies, while Portland had a 29-17 advantage on the boards, leading to 19 second-chance points in the first half.

    But Memphis was able to complete the comeback from 20 down with a flurry to open the second half. Behind Battier, Memphis pulled even, and Williams' two free throws with just more than six minutes to play in the quarter gave the Grizzlies their first lead, 64-62, since the opening minutes.

    The Grizzlies held a 79-75 lead entering the final period.

    Game notes


    Davis did not dress because of a sore back, marking only the second game he hasn't started this season for the Trail Blazers. Randolph made his eighth start of the season. ... Antonio Daniels also sat out the game recovering from dental surgery. ... The Grizzlies avoided being swept by Portland. The Trail Blazers won three of four games this season. Portland leads the overall series 21-10. ...Gasol had his fifth double-double in the past six games and has 30 on the season. ... Memphis is 20-19 at home this season. ...Battier has scored in double figures in four consecutive games. ...The 20-point comeback by the Grizzlies was the largest of the season and third largest in franchise history.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    POR
    MEM
    Points 93 96
    FGM-FGA 36-92 (.391) 36-77 (.468)
    3PM-3PA 4-12 (.333) 7-15 (.467)
    FTM-FTA 17-23 (.739) 17-21 (.810)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 21-51 11-44
    Assists 21 27
    Turnovers 12 16
    Steals 13 6
    Blocks 6 7
    Fast Break Points 9 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 18 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Portland
    Memphis
    Zach Randolph Randolph
    Points: 31
    Reb: 20
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Stromile Swift Swift
    Points: 19
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 3