Leave it to the Memphis Grizzlies to render even a game-winning shot unspectacular. They wouldn’t have it any other way. In their grudge match against the Portland Trail Blazers at the FedEx Forum on Friday, the Grizzlies got their revenge, and they did it in quintessential Grizzlies-like fashion: by battling for an offensive rebound and getting a tough putback with less than a second remaining to give them the 101-100 win.
After a befuddling start to the season, Memphis finally looked like themselves again as they rediscovered their Grit-n-Grind identity in a game that featured 11 lead changes and 15 ties. With 12.5 seconds left in the fourth, Al-Farouq Aminu (16 points) hit a clutch three to give the Blazers a 100-99 lead. On the ensuing possession, Courtney Lee got a good look at a corner three but couldn’t convert. However, Jeff Green was able to get a hand on it and keep it alive long enough for Zach Randolph to corral it and get the putback.
Z-Bo had 15 points and eight rebounds for the game, but he was just 6-of-16 from the floor. It was a huge night for Marc Gasol, who had 31 points on 11-of-18 shooting to go along with four rebounds and five assists. It was also the debut of Mario Chalmers – who the Grizzlies recently acquired from Miami for Beno Udrih. He added 11 points for Memphis.
Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum – the second highest scoring duo in the league behind Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant – combined for just 37 points Friday. Lillard, in particular, struggled with this shot all night, going just 5-of-15 from the field and missing all five of his three-point attempts. McCollum, on the other hand, scored 26 on 50 percent shooting and was 10-of-10 from the free-throw line.