The fans at FedExForum will be treated to a game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Memphis Grizzlies when they take their seats on Thursday.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, December 8, 2016
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
|505||PORTLAND||-2.5 (-110)||205.5 (-110)||100
TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN Northwest (Portland), FSN Southeast (Memphis)
PREDICTION: Grizzlies 102, Trail Blazers 97
Oddsmakers currently have the Trail Blazers listed as 1-point favorites versus the Grizzlies, while the game’s total is sitting at 205.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Zach Randolph is back with the Memphis Grizzlies, just as his late mother would have wanted.
The veteran power forward returned to the team Tuesday after a seven-game absence following the death of Mae Randolph on Thanksgiving Day. He came off the bench for 12 points and 14 rebounds in a 96-91 victory over Philadelphia, drawing a standing ovation when he entered the game in the second quarter.
“I heard it,” Randolph told reporters afterward. “I appreciate the city and the love and support of the organization. It’s meant a lot for the city to be behind me.”
Randolph and his mother were very close. He grew up in a single-parent household in Marion, Ind.
“My mom was my father, too,” Randolph said. “My mom was all I had. She was the rock of the family. It’s tough, but I’m going to continue to go hard for her, and leave it all out there, and do it for her.”
“It’s important to get back to working. This is what my mother would want me to do. Don’t sit around and be sad. So I’m doing it for her.”
Memphis coach David Fizdale was glad to regain the services of Randolph. The Grizzlies, 15-8 heading into Thursday night’s matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers at FedEx Forum, have been shorthanded for some time. Veteran point guard Mike Conley is out for at least another month with a lower back injury. Small forward Chandler Parsons has been out since Nov. 18 with a knee injury that will keep him sidelined for at least another week. Also missing are small forward James Ennis (calf), shooting guard Vince Carter (hip) and forward Brandan Wright (ankle).
Even with all the wounded, the Grizzlies have won four in a row and 10 of 13. In the win over Philadelphia, rookie guard Wade Baldwin stepped up with a season-high 11 points and forward JaMychal Green had his third double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Grizzlies will be looking to avenge a 100-94 loss to Portland on Nov. 6 in Memphis in a game in which the Blazers’ CJ McCollum matched his career high with 37 points. McCollum has averaged 24.0 points in his past five games against Memphis and has scored at least 20 in each of those contests.
The Blazers saw the end of a three-game win streak — and some improved defensive play — in a 115-107 loss at Milwaukee Wednesday night at BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The Bucks shot .519 from the field, including .417 (10 for 24) from 3-point range, and took advantage of nine fourth-quarter turnovers by the Blazers (12-11). Milwaukee scored 34 points in the third quarter and 30 in the fourth.
“We’re not a really good team right now,” Portland coach Terry Stotts told the media afterward. We’re finding our way.”
Point guard Damian Lillard continued his offensive tear with 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists, but scored just two points in the fourth quarter.
“We weren’t as sharp as we needed to be on some possessions,” Lillard said. “When you’re against a team like that, with that kind of size and length, it’s going to lead to turnovers.”