Grizzlies, Blazers clash in Rip City

( - A Western Conference clash is on tap in Rip City Sunday night, as the Memphis Grizzlies pay a visit to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Grizzlies opened a four-game western sojourn with a 105-89 loss at Oklahoma City before the All-Star break on Feb. 11, and had won two in a row and 14 of the previous 16 games.

"They're an elite team when they are healthy and fully loaded," Memphis head coach Dave Joerger said of the Thunder.

Zach Randolph led Memphis with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while All-Star Marc Gasol was limited to eight points on 2-of-10 shooting.

Memphis, which is first in opponents' scoring at 95.7 ppg, still leads the Southwest Division with a 39-14 record and is second in the West standings behind Golden State.

The Grizzlies are 16-9 on the road and will also visit the LA Clippers and Sacramento Kings on the trek. Gasol is questionable against the Trail Blazers with an illness and is averaging 18.3 points and 8.1 rebounds.

Portland is fourth in the conference standings and will open a three-game homestand Sunday versus Memphis, San Antonio and OKC. The Blazers have won four in a row in the Rose City and are 23-5 as the host.

The Trail Blazers had won two straight and four of five games until a 92-76 loss at Utah on Friday. Damian Lillard scored 19 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 and eight boards in the loss.

"You got to give Utah credit with its defense. They were very energetic. They were scrambling. They were closing out hard on our shooters," Blazers coach Terry Stouts said.

Sunday's matchup features talented big men in Randolph, Gasol, Aldridge and Robin Lopez. It appears the Grizzlies have the advantage with their swarming defense and dominant frontcourt, but the Blazers are more of a finesse team with Lillard, Aldridge and sharpshooter Wesley Matthews.

Memphis has won the first two meetings with Portland and the two clubs will square off March 21 at FedExForum. The Grizzlies have won two in a row and seven of the last eight games against the Blazers.