PORTLAND, Ore., March 12 (Ticker) -- Kevin Pritchard's
was one that the Memphis Grizzlies would like to forget.
scored 21 of his 25 points in the second
half as the Portland Trail Blazers snapped a six-game losing
streak with an 80-66 victory over the Grizzlies, who had their
lowest output of the season.
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Abdur-Rahim made 9-of-19 shots and grabbed 10 rebounds for
Portland, which won for the first time in five games under
Pritchard, who took over as interim coach on March 2 when
Maurice Cheeks was fired.
"Obviously I'm pretty excited," Pritchard said with the game
ball tucked underneath his arms. "I thought we competed for 48
minutes. The effort was just terrific. I'm so proud to have
the game ball.
"The official (Danny Crawford) knew that I hadn't got a win yet
and he brought me the ball. I told the coaches that if I went
0-27, I may go to the Hawaiian Islands and never be seen again."
The Trail Blazers took control in the second half with a 24-3
run that bridged the third and fourth quarters. After
layup with nine minutes left in the third gave the
Grizzlies a 45-42 lead, Abdur-Rahim scored six consecutive
points in the next two minutes to put Portland ahead for good.
Abdur-Rahim hit another jumper with 35 seconds remaining in the
period and scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to
make it 64-48 with 11:19 to go.
"After halftime I tried to come out a little more aggressive,"
said Abdur-Rahim, who made just 1-of-7 shots in the first half.
"I got into a rhythm and got it going a little. It's nice to
see the younger guys do their part and feel some success."
capped the spurt with a basket at the 10:33 mark to
push the lead to 18 before Earl Watson
made Memphis' first
basket in nearly nine minutes on the other end. During the
Trail Blazers' game-clinching run, the Grizzlies made just
1-of-11 shots and committed six of their 20 turnovers.
had 21 points and 12 rebounds for Memphis, which
shot just 36 percent (27-of-74) overall, including 5-of-17 from
Portland's frontcourt of Joel Przybilla
and Ratliff were the
main reason for Memphis' poor shooting, combining for nine of
the Trail Blazers' 11 blocked shots.
"When the ball won't go in, you can't do anything about it,"
Wright said. "Unfortunately, it was one of those nights. You've
just got to keep putting them up and hope that they go in. You
got to give them some credit. The blocked some shots tonight
and made it tough for us in the paint."
The Grizzlies appeared to be in control early when the Trail
Blazers - playing without their starting backcourt of
(left hamstring) and Nick Van Exel
(left knee) -
missed their first nine shots and committed five turnovers in
the first six minutes, falling behind, 12-2. Portland shot just
22 percent (4-of-18) in the first quarter, committing eight
turnovers against just one assist.
But the Trail Blazers rallied behind Richie Frahm
, who scored
nine of his season-high 14 points in the second quarter, helping
Portland take a 40-35 edge at the break.
"Richie works real hard in practice," Abdur-Rahim said. "He
shoots a lot of shots and you can tell that he really wants to
do well. I'm just happy to see some young guys have some
success so they can have a good night after the game is done."
"I think we shot ourselves in the foot early," Memphis coach
said. "We turned the ball over too many times.
Those are points you can increase the lead with. Instead we let
them back into the game. Then Frahm came in and played well
off the bench. Theo did too with the blocks. Their bench was
very good tonight."
With a 14-8 lead, Memphis lost starting point guard Jason
Williams for the game with a sprained right ankle after landing
on the foot of Trail Blazers rookie Sebastian Telfair
"You have to move ahead in this league," Fratello said. "They
have players down too. You try and do the best you can with
what you got."