PORTLAND, Ore., March 25 (Ticker)
-- The Memphis Grizzlies completed the greatest comeback in franchise history as they try to avoid finishing the season with the NBA's worst record. Lorenzen Wright
scored 21 points and Rodney Buford
added 20 as the Grizzlies overcame a 25-point deficit and recorded a 103-100 victory over the red-hot Portland Trail Blazers.
Memphis trailed by 25 points late in the third quarter and by 19 heading to the final period before outscoring the Trail Blazers, 39-17, to snap a six-game losing streak. It also was the Grizzlies' first road win since Feb. 17, ending a seven-game slide.
"At this point, we're pumped up to play everybody," Wright said. "We lost six in a row and we came in with a lot of heart. The bench and the veterans played great defense and we brought ourselves back into it."
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Pau Gasol recorded nine points on 4-of-5 shooting in the Grizzlies' win.
Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty Images
"This was unbelievable," Memphis coach Sidney Lowe added. "Our bench came up outstanding. Great win, great effort by our guys."
The loss stopped the Blazers' eight-game winning streak at the Rose Garden, where they had not lost since February 15. Portland fell to 18-4 since the All-Star break.
"No explanation for that one," said Trail Blazers forward Shawn Kemp
, who scored 12 points. "It's like a fight. You just have to take that one on the chin."
"This is not indicative of our team," Portland coach Maurice Cheeks added. "You have to give Memphis credit, they didn't quit. They made shots when they had to and we couldn't make a shot."
Memphis is 18-52, one-half game better than league-worst Golden State.
The Blazers led 57-44 at halftime and started the second half with a 20-8 run for a 25-point bulge with 3:44 left in the third quarter. Scottie Pippen
scored seven of his 13 points during that stretch and Bonzi Wells
added six of his 34.
"First thing is, we had to get our defense going," Lowe said. "(We had to) get some stops and we just ran a couple of plays that worked for us."
The Grizzlies were behind 83-64 after 36 minutes but used a 23-4 run over a 7:47 span of the fourth quarter to tie it at 87-87 on a jumper by Will Solomon. He scored all of his 10 points during the outburst.
"I think one of the big things was once we got a little run going and got back in it, we sort of got the crowd a little quiet," Lowe said.
"In the second half, we kept playing and did some great work on the boards to get second-chance points," Grizzlies rookie Shane Battier
After the teams traded baskets, Memphis took its first lead when Buford buried a 3-pointer from the right side with three minutes remaining.
Kemp made four free throws and Wright answered with a basket over the next minute before Wells' layup with 69 seconds left gave Portland its last lead, 95-94.
Battier and Wells traded free throws and Buford answered with two foul shots of his own to put Memphis ahead, 100-97, with 12 seconds left. Wells missed two from the line but grabbed his own rebound and launched a shot from the right sideline that would have tied it. But he had foot on the arc for a 2-pointer that left Portland trailing with six seconds to play.
"The game was in our hands," Cheeks said. "The game turned so quickly in terms of them making shots and us not making shots."
On the next possession, Buford took an inbounds pass alone under the basket and could have run out the clock. But he dunked, giving the Blazers one more chance. After making the first free throw, Damon Stoudamire
intentionally missed the second but was called for a loose ball foul.
Wright sealed it by making 1-of-2 foul shots.
"We lost our intensity," Portland guard Derek Anderson
said. "We have to move on from this. It shows that you can never quit, and Memphis never did."