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Grizzlies stay hot, top Blazers

Apr 22, 2012 - 5:20 AM Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Rudy Gay put home 21 points and pulled down six rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies topped the Portland Trail Blazers, 93-89, at FedEx Forum on Saturday.

O.J. Mayo added 14 points, Marreese Speights had 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Marc Gasol and Dante Cunningham scored 12 points apiece for the Grizzlies, who have won four straight games. With the victory, the Grizzlies moved to within a half-game of the idle Los Angeles Clippers for the fourth seed in the Western Conference.

"We're just worried about what we can do. ... Whatever happens on the outside happens. We can only control what we can control," Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said.

J.J. Hickson scored a game-high 23 points and ripped down 13 boards for the Blazers, who have dropped five consecutive games. Jamal Crawford added 21 points, while Wesley Matthews finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Trailing 79-67 heading into the fourth quarter, the Blazers began a valiant comeback effort after giving up the first two points of the final period. They ran off a 10-2 burst o cut the deficit to six with 6:57 to play.

The Grizzlies answered with a 8-2 run of their own to restore a 12-point advantage, 91-79, with 4:15 remaining.

Portland continued to push and a layup by Matthews with 32.5 seconds left pulled the Blazers within 91-89.

Matthews fired up a deep three-pointer with under five seconds left that would have given the Blazers the lead, but the shot was blocked by Gay, who then came down with the rebound.

Portland was then forced to foul and Mayo sank two clutch free throws to seal the outcome.

Memphis jumped out to a 10-4 lead early, but the Blazers battled back and a driving layup by Hickson with around 5 1/2 minutes to play in the first quarter tied the game at 15.

It stayed a one-possession game and Portland scored the final three points of the frame to lead 27-24 after one.

Memphis grabbed control of the game late in the second quarter. Leading 46-41 with 2:22 to play before the break, the Grizzlies ran off an 8-2 burst to take a double-digit lead for the first time, 54-43. The Grizzlies led 54-45 at halftime.

Memphis led by double-digits throughout most of the third quarter and a slam by Tony Allen gave the Grizzles their largest cushion at 70-55 with 5:07 to play. They led 79-67 heading into the final quarter.

Game Notes

Memphis shot 44 percent from the field and 4-of-17 from three-point range, while Portland shot 37 percent from the field and just 6-of-24 from beyond the arc...The contest featured eight lead changes and two ties...The Trail Blazers outrebounded Memphis, 46-44...Memphis dominated inside, scoring 58 points in the paint to just 32 for the Blazers.