Grizzlies take 2-0 series lead, beating Blazers

Grizzlies beat Blazers 97-82 Wednesday night

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, looks for a way around Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, left, in the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff series Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, looks for a way around Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, left, in the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff series Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Conley and Courtney Lee each scored 18 points, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Portland Trail Blazers 97-82 Wednesday night to grab the franchise’s first 2-0 lead in a playoff series.

The Grizzlies took full advantage of starting the playoffs with home-court advantage for only the second time in their short postseason history. They had only won their playoff opener once before, and that was on the road in San Antonio in 2011.

Marc Gasol had 15 points, and Zach Randolph and Beno Udrih added 10 apiece.

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 24 points and 14 rebounds, and he also had four blocks with two steals. Damian Lillard added 18 points but the Trail Blazers lost their first two playoff games for the first time since 2011, when they fell in six games to Dallas.

Nicolas Batum scored 11, while Robin Lopez and Meyers Leonard added 10 apiece.

Game 3 is Saturday night in Portland.

Memphis is known for its bruising inside game with Gasol and Randolph. That duo combined to shoot 9 of 31, not that it mattered with their teammates shooting 42.7 percent overall. That included Conley and Lee going a combined 14 of 22 themselves. Lee also had three of Memphis’ nine steals, while Allen and Gasol blocked three shots apiece.

Portland came into this series with several players banged-up, and the list got longer with center Chris Kaman out after spraining his left ankle Tuesday in practice. Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts juggled his lineup, starting guard Allen Crabbe for the first time in the postseason and bringing CJ McCollum off the bench after a rare start in Game 1.

The Blazers looked like the team that won 51 games during the regular season early. Crabbe hit a 3 in the opening minutes to give the Blazers their first lead in this series, and they jumped out to a 10-2 lead with Aldridge connecting on four of his first five shots.

Even with the Grizzlies hitting only eight of their first 25 shots and missing a handful of layups in the quarter, Portland led only 21-19 at the end of the first.

Memphis took control in the second with a 15-2 run, turning Portland’s 23-19 edge to a 34-25 lead on a 3-pointer by Jeff Green. Memphis led by as much as 12 when Vince Carter tipped a ball to Green a couple minutes later and then knocked down a 3. The Grizzlies outscored Portland 31-18 in the quarter and led 50-39 at halftime.

The Grizzlies simply clamped down tighter and led 73-60 at the end of the third after leading by as much as 18 late in the quarter.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Portland’s shooting woes continued. Aldridge was 4 of 6 in the opening quarter and went 3 of 14 the rest of the way. Lillard, 5 of 21 overall and 0 of 6 outside the arc in the opener, was 5 of 16 and hit 1 of 5 outside the arc. … The Trail Blazers turned it over 14 times, which Memphis converted into 16 points.

Grizzlies: Memphis had 29 second-chance points on just 12 rebounds, a franchise record in the playoffs, topping the mark of 26 set in triple-overtime against Oklahoma City in 2011. … Lee made two 3-pointers, and Memphis now is 23-3 this season when he makes at least two in a game. … Memphis again outshot Portland outside the arc, converting 8 of 16 compared to 6 of 20 for the Trail Blazers.

INJURY LIST

Portland guard Arron Afflalo missed his fifth straight game with his own strained right shoulder, and reserve forward Dorell Wright remains out of this series with a broken left hand. … Udrih, who had 20 points in the opener, scored eight off the bench before spraining his right ankle. He went to the locker room and got his ankle wrapped. He returned late in the third quarter.

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