One game at a time. That's how the Memphis Grizzlies are taking it. And it's showing up in the Grind House, aka FedExForum.
Notching their seventh-straight home win with seven more home games left in the regular season, the Grizzlies defeated the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday (109-99).
The Grizzlies are back to playing tough defense and they've developed a fierce second unit that's garnering more and more playing time.
"We always take it one game at a time," said Grizzlies guard Tony Allen. "We'll take the home court. You always want to play well on your home court. That's playing defense and understanding how we have to go offensively."
The Grizzlies moved the ball offensively, shooting 50 percent or better in every quarter against Portland and a season-high 56 percent overall. Defensively, they held Portland to under 100 points for the second time, becoming only the third team to do so this year. Portland is second in the league in scoring but only averaged 90 points against the Grizzlies in two contests.
Center Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 19 points, also dishing out seven assists. Zach Randolph pitched in 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds from the strong forward spot. Starting point guard Mike Conley finished with 17 points.
"Tonight takes discipline and consistency," Gasol said. "For the most part we had that. We played in different ways."
The Grizzlies bench outscored the Blazers bench 30-22 and won the battle for points in the paint, 54-36. Memphis never led by less than nine points after an 11-3 run in the second half. There were nine lead changes and the game was tied twice. The Grizzlies led by as many as 15 points.
Blazers point guard Damian Lillard led all scorers with 32 points, along with seven assists. LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
"I thought we competed really hard," said Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. "We gave up too many fast break points in the first half, but we controlled that in the second half. They're a good team. Especially at home."
So what's been the difference in this second half of the season for the Grizzlies?
"It's starting to roll for us a little bit," said Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger. "Balls are going in, and it seemed like we just didn't get a roll to start this season. We didn't get a bounce. Sometimes you make your own luck. You have to go get more of those balls and some of those things. I just think we're a lot more focused right now. We're kind of on a mission and just playing one game at a time."
* The Grizzlies defeated the Charlotte Bobcats last Saturday at home (111-89) after a 2-1 road trip.
* With 19 games left in the regular season, Memphis is currently holding on to the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
* The Grizzlies will hit a stretch of three road games over the next four days starting with the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night.