for this game

Blazers turn it on in second half, beat Grizzlies

Nov 10, 2007 - 7:22 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan must have said the right things at halftime.

The Trail Blazers erased a 15-point deficit and held the Memphis Grizzlies to 37 second-half points en route to a 110-98 victory on Friday.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 30 points and Brandon Roy added 22 for the Blazers, who won their second straight game and remained undefeated at the Rose Garden.

"All the talk we had at halftime was that we had to crack down on defense," McMillan said. "We said we had to challenge those guys. We looked at film. Memphis was doing whatever they wanted so we came out and got more physical. We have to play that way in order to win."

One of the league's youngest teams, Portland shot 51 percent (42-of-82) from the floor while holding the Grizzlies to just 41 percent (37-of-89).

"The coaches wanted us to come out (in the second half) with a whole new attitude and be more physical," Roy said. "For some reason in the third quarter we do it. We rattled those guys.

"We did a good job pushing the ball, getting fast breaks. In the first half, we were still working at it. In the second half, I seemed to have a better feel and better touches with the ball."

Third-year point guard Jarrett Jack led the charge for the Blazers, scoring 14 of his 25 points in the final quarter as the Blazers pulled ahead.

Aldridge and centers Channing Frye and Joel Pryzbilla had a terrible time containing Memphis star center Pau Gasol in the opening half as he shot 8-of-9 from the floor in the first 24 minutes.

But Portland upped the defensive intensity in the second half, holding the Spaniard scoreless with just one shot attempt.

"At halftime, coach challenged us," Aldridge said. "He said, 'If we want this game, we gotta go get it.' He said, 'Gasol has only missed one shot, that means we're not playing defense.' Everyone took the challenge and we got the win. I took the first half real personal."

Gasol consistently established early low-post position on the smaller and younger Blazers frontline as Memphis built up a 26-23 first-quarter lead with 22 points coming in the paint.

Six straight points to start the second, capped by Gasol's dunk, gave Memphis a 32-23 advantage. Another 6-0 run, this one ending with Rudy Gay's 3-pointer at the 3:35 mark, gave the Grizzlies their biggest lead at 50-35.

The first half ended with Memphis in control by 12 points.

Portland made the necessary adjustments at the half and answered back in the third with an 11-0 run. Martell Webster ignited the spurt by connecting on a 3-pointer and Aldridge capped it with a bucket and free throw, cutting Portland's deficit to 63-62 with 6:17 remaining in the third.

"Collectively, we wanted to prove that we could dig ourselves out of a hole and comeback and get a win," Webster said. "We don't want to be in that predicament, but sometimes that happens. We just stuck together defensively and stuck it out to get the win. We executed down the stretch, held them to a 15-point third quarter and we had a 36-point fourth quarter, so that goes a long way."

The Blazers finally pulled even at 79-79 on Webster's 3-pointer with 9:27 remaining in the contest. After Gay responded with a 3-pointer to put the Grizzlies back on top, Brandon Roy converted a three-point play to tie it again at 82-82 with 8:48 to play.

Portland finally took its first lead since the first quarter when Aldridge took a pass from Jack and jumped up for a four-foot hook shot to make it 86-84 at the 7:35 mark.

"He (Aldridge) did great and kept attacking," Roy said. "He had 30 and 10 and that speaks for itself. He's capable of doing that every night."

The Blazers poured it on from there, closing the game on a 24-14 run.

Gay led with 31 points and Mike Miller added 14 for the Grizzlies.

"You have to give them credit," Memphis coach Mark Iavaroni said. "They came after us defensively. They got into us and we struggled to get good shots off. When we got the ball inside, we didn't finish. They dominated in the second half, and we scored 37 points."

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