The Memphis Grizzlies opened their first-round playoff series at home against the Portland Trail Blazers, and they easily defeated them, 100-86.
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The Grizzlies came storming right out of the gate as they took a double-digit lead in the first quarter.
Point guard Beno Udrih got the ball rolling right away as he made his first six shots of the game, including this one toward the end of the first quarter.
The Grizzlies took an even bigger lead at halftime, and they even led by 29 points at one point in the third quarter.
After taking such a large lead, the Grizzlies took the foot off the gas pedal as they only scored 14 points in the fourth quarter while the Blazers were able to trim the Grizzlies’ lead to below 20.
Blazers small forward Allen Crabbe finished with five points that closed out the game, but it didn’t matter as the Grizzlies defense continued to be a force as depth proved to be a problem for the Blazers.
The Blazers have suffered season-ending injuries to players like Wesley Matthews and Arron Afflalo.
Shooting guard C.J. McCollum and small forward Nicolas Batum were also banged up earlier in the season, but they played in the Blazers’ playoff opener.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies executed a well-rounded scoring attack as five players scored in double digits.
Udrih led the way for the Grizzlies with 20 points while adding seven rebounds and seven assists, and the Grizzlies’ big men shined throughout the game as well.
Center Marc Gasol scored 15 points with 11 rebounds and seven assists. Among his 15 points were an impressive jump shot in the fourth quarter.
Power forward Zach Randolph contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds, including an incredible jump shot of his own.
Point guard Mike Conley also scored 16 points to prove that his foot injury is not a major issue, which he demonstrated with this incredible layup.
The Grizzlies bench contributed greatly as Udrih came off it while 13 points were scored by other players.
Meanwhile, the Blazers were forced to lean on power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who took 32 shots while scoring 29 points and snagging 14 rebounds and blocking four shots.
Point guard Damian Lillard looked nothing like that clutch player that won Game 6 for the Blazers with a buzzer-beating three-pointer against the Houston Rockets in last year’s playoffs.
Lillard was held to 14 points on 5-of-21 shooting, but he was able to make up for his lack of offense with eight rebounds to go with three assists.
Batum was the only other Blazers player who scored in double digits, as he chipped in 15 points with seven rebounds and four assists.
Although 21 points came from it, the Blazers bench was mostly quiet as only three of its players scored.
However, center Meyers Leonard contributed with nine rebounds while also scoring seven points while center Chris Kaman added seven points and six rebounds.
Nonetheless, the Blazers had a horrible offensive performance as they were only able to make 33.7 percent of their shots.
The Grizzlies will host the Blazers again in Game 2, which will take place on Tuesday. The Blazers will then host the following two games as they look to recover from this blowout loss.