Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Playing with their backs against the wall and in front of their home crowd, the Portland Trail Blazers rallied for a win in Game 4 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Damian Lillard scored 32 points to lead the Blazers in a 99-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.
C.J. McCollum had 18 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, who now trail the series with Memphis 3-1 after snapping a seven-game losing streak dating back to April 8.
"I usually keep my comments pretty short after a game. It was one hell of an effort and now we have to take our focus to Game 5," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said of his message to his team following the win.
Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 21 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists. Courtney Lee dropped in 19 points and Zach Randolph chipped in 12 points and nine rebounds.
Memphis was playing without star point guard Mike Conley, who underwent facial surgery on Monday to repair a fracture he sustained in the third quarter of Game 3. Nick Calathes had 12 points in place of Conley.
The Grizzlies have yet to provide a timetable for Conley's return, though the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that the fracture may take several weeks to heal.
"Without Mike on the floor, we tried to feature Jeff Green, but tonight the shots just didn't fall for him," Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said.
Green, who went 3-of-10 from the floor, knocked down a 3-pointer with under nine minutes to play in the fourth that put the visitors up 80-70. Portland would dig in on the defensive end from there and send the series back to Memphis.
"It was a weird time," Stotts said when his team went down 10. "I don't think it was anything unusual, but there was a sense of urgency."
The Blazers went on a 12-2 run out of a timeout -- with six of those points coming from the free-throw line -- to tie the game at 82-82. Gasol quelled the surge with a tough hook shot over Meyers Leonard, but McCollum skied in for a layup moments later to knot things back up.
"We stopped competing. We started trading buckets with them (and) did not execute the way we should have," Gasol said.
After two free throws by Gasol, Lillard fired in a 3-pointer, was fouled by Tony Allen and hit the free throw for an 88-86 lead. Randolph made a basket from in close on the following possession before McCollum's 3-pointer kept the back-and-forth quarter going with 1:20 on the clock.
Memphis had two shots at either tying the score or cutting its deficit on the next possession, but Calathes and Randolph each missed respective shot attempts. Lillard missed a 3-pointer at the other end, then Nicolas Batum made 1-of-2 from the line following a loose ball foul on Green for a 92-88 edge.
Lee raced in for a layup with 19.9 seconds left, but Lillard calmly made two free throws to keep it a two-possession contest. Lillard made two more free throws in the closing seconds that maintained the four-point advantage and sealed the win.
Game 5 will be Wednesday night in Memphis.
"Every game is an elimination game for us," Stotts added. "We're not going to worry about the series, we're going to worry about Game 5."
Calathes fueled a 12-4 run to open the game for Memphis. He converted two consecutive 3-pointers, then his assist on Gasol's jumper capped the spurt.
The Blazers countered with a 13-2 run for a three-point edge, and they brought a 27-22 lead into the second quarter.
The Grizzlies cut their deficit to two with under five minutes left in the second prior to a 10-2 run from Portland. The Blazers led 55-48 at halftime.
Memphis did not allow a field goal in the third quarter until McCollum's jumper at 5:18. In the meantime, the Grizzlies grabbed a 64-57 lead thanks to a 16-2 burst out of the locker room. Lee's runner with under a minute to play capped the scoring in the quarter and gave Memphis a 75-68 lead.
Leonard had 13 points and 13 rebounds off the bench for Portland ... Memphis, who swept the regular-season series from the Blazers, was looking to become the first team since the 1995-96 Seattle Supersonics to sweep both a regular season and playoff series from an opponent (Houston) ... The Grizzlies failed to sweep their first postseason series in franchise history ... Each team committed nine turnovers ... Portland had a 22-9 advantage on second-chance points and outrebounded the Grizzlies 50-40.