National Basketball Association
Memphis at Portland
When: 10:30 PM ET, Monday, April 27, 2015
Where: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon
The Memphis Grizzlies continue to control Portland and attempt to finish
off a four-game sweep of the host Trail Blazers in Monday’s Game 4 of the
Western Conference first-round series. The Grizzlies have defeated
Portland seven consecutive times this season but will be without point
guard Mike Conley, who suffered a left eye injury on Saturday and has
returned to Memphis.
The rest could do Conley good as he also continues to be bothered by a painful foot injury. The fifth-seeded Grizzlies can opt to hold him out due to their commanding 3-0 lead as it remains to be seen what type of fight the fourth-seeded Trail Blazers will put up with their season on the line. “Obviously, nobody’s come back from 3-0,” Portland point guard Damian Lillard accurately pointed out to reporters. “The easy thing to do would be to say nobody has ever come back from 3-0, but it’s not impossible.” The contest could be the last as a member of the Trail Blazers for star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who is headed to free agency.TV:
10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, SportSouth (Memphis), KGW (Portland)ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES:
The loss of Conley could have been a disaster in Game 3 with backup Beno Udrih out with a sprained ankle, but third-stringer Nick Calathes stepped up with a surprisingly good effort in the 115-109 victory. Calathes played 27 minutes and contributed 13 points, four rebounds and three assists without committing a turnover. “I thought his composure was tremendous,” Memphis coach Dave Joerger told reporters. “He didn’t have a turnover, so to come in cold, get 13 points, three assists, no turnovers and run the club … he’s a very, very solid NBA point guard.”ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS:
Aldridge is averaging 25.7 points and 11.7 rebounds in the series but has shot below 40 percent in each game and has experienced long stretches of inconsistency like his 1-of-10 shooting in the first half of Game 3. Reports are flying that Aldridge is committed to testing the free-agent market and that could be a factor in why he’s pressing with his shot in the series. Small forward Nicolas Batum exploded for 27 points and tied the franchise playoff record of six 3-pointers in Game 3 and he is averaging 17.7 points in the series.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Memphis C Marc Gasol scored 25 points in Game 3 and is averaging 18.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and three blocks in the series.
2. Trail Blazers reserve SG C.J. McCollum scored 26 points in Game 3 after totaling eight on 4-of-21 shooting over the first two games.
3. The Grizzlies were 39-of-43 from the free-throw line in Game 3 with Gasol going 13-of-14 and SG Courtney Lee making all nine of his attempts.PREDICTION:
Grizzlies 97, Trail Blazers 92
Stats and Records