for this game

Outlaw robs Grizzlies with last-second stunner

Dec 4, 2007 - 5:47 AM By Jason Smith PA Sportsticker Contributing Writer

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) - It took a post-game meeting at the scorer's table to be sure, but Travis Outlaw's running six-footer as time expired in the fourth quarter Monday earned the Portland Trail Blazers a dramatic 106-105 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum.

Outlaw, a reserve forward from nearby Starkville, Mississippi, scored Portland's final seven points. He finished with 21 off the bench to help the Trail Blazers earn their second win over Memphis this season and their first when they've allowed 100 or more points.

"Travis was not the first option," Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan admitted afterward. "We were trying to get the ball to Brandon Roy."

With 2.8 seconds left and Portland trailing by one after a Rudy Gay tip made it 105-104, Outlaw took the inbounds pass, dribbled right and lofted a runner at the glass. The shot fell through, and was declared good for a second time after officials met at the scorer's table to watch a replay of the shot.

"Once I saw they were denying (Roy), I just ran to the ball," said Outlaw, who connected on 8-of-13 shot attempts. "After that, I just got the ball and went out there.

"I gotta admit, it felt like a good shot when I shot it. I knew once I did one or two dribbles, I needed to let it go."

Roy finished with a team-high 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Portland (6-12), which had trailed by as many as nine points late in the third quarter. LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 points for a Trail Blazers team that finished 51 percent (43-of-84) from the field.

"We were trying to keep the ball out of Brandon Roy's hands, beat them with defense and try to make them have to take a tough shot," Memphis guard Mike Miller said. "He made a tough shot and you have to give them credit."

"We weren't getting back on defense," first-year Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We had a nine-point lead and appeared to be in command, but we didn't get back on defense on a couple of occasions, and in effect, that was the game. We had a chance to get the lead to 13 or 15 and establish, but we didn't do that because of our transition defense."

Gay and Memphis guard Mike Miller each scored 30 for Memphis (6-11), which trailed, 94-92, with less than five minutes remaining when rookie guard Juan Carlos Navarro buried a three-pointer in transition to give the Grizzlies a 95-94 lead.

Gay threw down an alley-oop dunk on an assist from Damon Stoudamire two possessions later to make it 97-94 and force a Portland timeout.

Roy tied the game at 99 more than a minute later on a 20-footer before Outlaw provided his late-game heroics. Portland began the third quarter with a 9-0 scoring run to erase a seven-point halftime deficit.

Reserve forward James Jones, who finished with 16 points off the bench on 6-of-7 shooting, scored five points during the run, helping the Blazers take a 59-57 lead early in the third.

"Everybody stepped up," Roy said. "James came in and played great for us. Travis made two big plays down the stretch. It was a total team effort."

Both teams were red-hot from 3-point range in the first half, as Memphis connected on 7-of-15 (46.7 percent) attempts from the arc before the break. Portland made 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) of its 3-pointers in the first half.

Miller finished the first half with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and his tip of Stoudamire's missed layup with one second left in the second quarter helped give the Grizzlies a 57-50 halftime lead.

"One thing I did not see from our guys tonight was the sense that they couldn't win," McMillan said. "They looked like throughout the game that they could win this game. You didn't see our heads drop even when we were down."

Portland had led, 43-36, with more than five minutes left in the first half before Miller scored eight straight points on a pair of three-pointers and a layup to give Memphis a 46-43 advantage.

Memphis was sparked early on by Gay, whose three-pointer from the left side gave the Grizzlies an early 12-5 lead. But Portland responded with back-to-back three-pointers from Steve Blake and Martell Webster.

The Trail Blazers would go on to finish 62.5 percent (5-of-8) from beyond the arc in the first quarter to take a 31-24 lead after one.