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Unheralded Kinsey, Grizzlies aim for second straight win

Mar 29, 2007 - 3:45 PM Memphis (18-54) at Portland (29-42) 10:00 pm EDT

PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) - In his last game, unheralded rookie Tarence Kinsey upstaged Kobe Bryant. It will be interesting to see what he does for an encore.

Kinsey will try to give the Memphis Grizzlies their first winning streak of the season when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.

A week ago, the Grizzlies were overwhelmed by Bryant, who scored 60 points. Kinsey sat and watched most of that game, playing just five minutes in a 121-119 loss.

However, the undrafted guard has averaged 18.7 points in three games since, including a season-high 24 in Tuesday's 88-86 road win over Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kinsey made 10-of-18 shots, including the go-ahead 3-pointer. He also occasionally was matched up with Bryant, whose string of games with at least 40 points ended with 23 on just 7-of-26 shooting.

Kinsey will be looking to continue his solid play. So will the Grizzlies (18-54), who are the NBA's only team without back-to-back wins.

The Rose Garden appears to be as good a place as any for Memphis, which has won four of its last five visits here. The Grizzlies are a league-worst 6-30 on the road, but one of the wins was a 103-102 victory over Portland on February 23.

The Trail Blazers return from a 2-2 road trip during which they were missing leading scorer Zach Randolph for the first two games due to bereavement leave. Portland was 2-0 without Randolph and 0-2 with him.

The Blazers have some contributing rookies of their own. Guard Brandon Roy is the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year and forward LaMarcus Aldridge has come on late in the season.

Aldridge had 20 points and eight rebounds in Monday's 100-89 loss at Chicago. He is averaging 24.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in his last five games.

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