Jeff Green scored 23 points, while Mike Conley added 21 with nine assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 97-86 victory over the struggling Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.
Zach Randolph added 17 points for Memphis, who won their second straight. Marc Gasol scored 13 points, while Tony Allen finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 27 points and seven assists. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 16 points, but did not play in the second half because of an injury to his left hand. C.J. McCollum finished with 13 points and Dorell Wright scored 10.
The Trail Blazers also played the second half without starting forward Nicolas Batum, who was sidelined with lower back pain. The team said X-rays on Aldridge’s hand were negative.
The loss was the season-worst fourth straight for Portland, who were creeping up the Western Conference standings a week ago.
The defeat dropped the Trail Blazers four games behind the Grizzlies for the second playoff seed in the West.
SUNS 117, ROCKETS 102
Eric Bledsoe scored a career-high 34 points as Phoenix withstood a fourth-quarter charge by Houston.
Bledsoe scored 23 by half-time and surpassed his previous career best of 33 points, set earlier this season, on a free-throw with about 1 minute remaining.
Phoenix led by 15 early in the fourth quarter when Houston used a 14-4 run to cut it to 105-100 with 5 minutes left.
Neither team had scored for about two-and-a-half minutes when P.J. Tucker made a three-pointer that started a 12-0 spurt by the Suns that secured the victory.
Donatas Motiejunas scored 18 points for the Rockets and James Harden added 16 after his career-high 50 in Thursday’s win over Denver.
Phoenix’s victory snapped a three-game winning streak for Houston and allowed the Suns to avoid a season sweep by the Rockets.
NETS 123, PACERS 111
Brook Lopez had 26 points and four blocked shots to lead Brooklyn over slumping Indiana.
Bojan Bogdanovic added 21 points and five rebounds off the bench, while Deron Williams scored 17 for the Nets, who have won four of five.
George Hill had 18 points and nine assists for the Pacers (30-39), who lost their fifth straight.
Brooklyn pulled away for good when Joe Johnson converted a three-point play and Bogdanovic made a three-pointer to put the Nets ahead 109-100 with 4 minutes remaining.
A win for the Pacers would have put them in sole possession of eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Instead, the Nets (29-39) closed the gap in a crowded race for the final playoff spot.
In other results, it was:
‧ Pistons 107, Bulls 91
‧ Warriors 106, Jazz 91
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
MEDIA RUMORS? With no pay agreement secured and players’ representatives calling for more financial information ahead of talks, the sport had another week of bad press Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle could be sacked in a matter of days, media reported yesterday, as the embattled governing body struggles to deal with a financial crisis compounded by a shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Castle this week took a 50 percent pay cut and laid off 75 percent of Rugby Australia (RA) staff members, saying that the body would face losses of up to A$120 million (US$71.95 million) if no more rugby was played this year. With no pay agreement secured with the players and their representatives calling on RA to provide more financial information ahead of negotiations, the
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning to play a charity golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday. CNBC, which cited an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations, said that the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organized by the PGA Tour and AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The negotiations are still being finalized, but the match pitting 15-time major champion Woods and Manning against five-time major winner Mickelson and Brady could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be featured on pay-per-view, CNBC said. “Discussions