Published April 21, 2012
| Sports Network
The playoff-bound Memphis Grizzlies will close out the regular season with a three-game homestand starting with Saturday's matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Grizzlies are currently the fifth seed in the West but have their eyes on home-court advantage and No. 4. Memphis is just a game behind the Los Angeles Clippers after beating the lowly Bobcats, 85-80, in Charlotte on Friday.
Mike Conley had 20 points, seven assists and three steals in that one as the Grizzlies used a strong finish to send the Bobcats to their franchise-record 19th straight loss.
Zach Randolph added 14 points and six rebounds for the Grizzlies, who locked up no worse than the fifth seed by winning their third straight and for the 11th time in 14 games overall.
"This was a big win for us," Conley said. "We locked up the fifth spot and now we have a shot at the fourth seed, so we needed this win."
Portland, meanwhile, is playing out the string and coming off a 112-91 dismantling at the hands of the Utah Jazz in its final home game of the season on Wednesday.
Wesley Matthews paced the Trail Blazers with 21 points as they lost their fourth in a row and will be finishing up their first losing season since 2006-07.
"I'll continue to say it. I believe it -- we do have the best fans in the world," interim coach Kaleb Canales told the Blazers' website. "It's been a challenging season for us but we appreciate what they mean to us."
J.J. Hickson and Luke Babbitt each added 16 points with Hickson also contributing nine rebounds.
"Bad team defense tonight, we didn't rotate and it cost us the game," Hickson said.
After tonight's game the Blazers will finish the season with visits to San Antonio and Utah.
Portland, of course, has already shut down All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge for the rest of the season due to right hip surgery and also will be without center Joel Przybilla (bronchitis) and point guard Raymond Felton (personal reasons) tonight.
The Blazers have already topped the Grizzlies twice in Rip City this season but Memphis has won eight straight at FedEx Forum and is 23-7 on Beale Street this season.