After the Memphis Grizzlies split a two-game road trip by losing to the Miami Heat and defeating the Orlando Magic, they eased past the Portland Trailblazers with a 91-85 victory at FedExForum on Wednesday night.
It was another comeback – the 10th when trailing by 17 or more since the start of the 2009 season. The Grizzlies (40-19) went into the half on the short end of a 50-38 score.
Grizz guard Tony Allen said going into the locker room they knew what they had to do.
"We know what we are doing," Allen said. "Guys just have to be better."
The Grizzlies clamped down on defense, picked it up on offense and began to score. Down by 13 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter, they went on a 12-1 run and took the lead in the fourth quarter after guard Jerry Bayless scored on a three-point shot.
"J.B. (Jerryd Bayless) is a stronger point guard, more physical," said Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins. "J.B. was able to take some of the bumps and still be on him (Blazers guard Damien Lillard)."
Bayless finished with 13 points off the bench.
"I was just trying to get it going," Bayless said. "We were obviously down and (I) just tried to get it going and just tried to get them a lift. I think everybody did well. especially (the ones) that came in that hadn't been playing a lot. We just have to continue it and hopefully get the other guys back as soon as possible."
Ed Davis got his first start of the season with the Grizzlies and Jon Leuer and Dexter Pittman received some playing time.
The Grizzlies played without forward Zach Randolph, who missed his second game after an ankle injury he sustained during the Miami Heat game, and Darrell Arthur, who was injured during the Orlando game.
Center Marc Gasol led all scorers with 23 points, also grabbing 12 rebounds en route to his 14th double-double of the season. Mike Conley added 20 points from the starting point guard spot.
Lillard led the Blazers with 20 points. J.J. Hickson and Eric Maynor each pitched in 12. Hickson added 13 rebounds, putting up his 33rd double-double of the season.
"They (Grizzlies) came out and played a lot harder than we did as far as energy and getting loose balls," Lillard said. "They are a good defensive team. In the second half I thought we worked hard to get what we got, but they out-worked (us) and I thought they definitely turned it up defensively and made some shots."
NOTE: The Grizzlies face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday (March 8).