- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

MEMPHIS, TENN. (AP) - LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and eight rebounds and Brandon Roy finished with 20 points and nine assists to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 103-92 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.

Travis Outlaw added 18 points and Joel Przybilla had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who are trying to reach the Western Conference playoffs for the first time since 2003. Portland entered the game in the sixth spot in the West.

O.J. Mayo scored 21 points and handed out six assists to lead Memphis, which lost its 13 game in the last 15. Mike Conley had 20 points, and Rudy Gay score 17 and grabbed 11 rebounds. Hakim Warrick finished with 15 points on 7-of-10 from the floor.

Memphis was still within seven early in the fourth quarter, but Portland methodically extended the lead. Outlaw’s 3-pointer, which he followed with a pair of free throws on the next possession, gave the Trail Blazers a 94-77 lead with 5:16 left.

The Trail Blazers eventually would have an 18-point advantage. Memphis never led.

Portland built an early double-digit lead hitting nine of its first 10 shots in the game. When the Trail Blazers finally missed their second shot, it only delayed the scoring as Przybilla grabbed the offensive rebound for a dunk. The sequence dropped Portland’s shooting to 83 percent.

Portland would end the night shooting 47 percent, compared to 40 percent for Memphis.

Memphis didn’t fold after the early Trail Blazer lead, fighting to cut the Portland advantage to 53-48 late in the second. But Roy scored 14 points in the second quarter and the Trail Blazers led 55-48 at halftime.

Mayo scored 13 points in the half.

Portland was able to maintain its lead through the third period. Memphis cut the margin to three points in the period, but the Trail Blazers carried a 73-66 advantage into the final period.

After Outlaws back-to-back scores, Memphis never threatened Portland the rest of the way.

Notes:@ Grizzlies G Greg Buckner missed his third straight game with a left knee bruise. Memphis C Darko Milicic strained his lower back in the first quarter and did not return. Later in the first half, Grizzlies F Darrell Arthur sprained his right knee. He also did not return. The Blazers were playing their second game of a five-game road trip. The journey, which started in Atlanta on Sunday, includes stops in Indianapolis, Cleveland and Milwaukee. Memphis, which defeated Detroit on Sunday, was trying for its first wins on consecutive nights this season.

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