The Memphis Grizzlies dropped a second straight game to an inferior opponent, losing 97-93 to the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday. Memphis has lost four of five games and three of four since Zach Randolph's return from injury last week.
The Grizzlies had previously lost to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday; the Utah Jazz, fighting to grab a playoff bid in the West -- perhaps from Memphis -- just edged those same Kings 103-102 on Thursday, surviving a monster comeback attempt from upstart Sacramento.
On Thursday, the Grizzlies got 22 points and nine rebounds from Marc Gasol, but conceded 10-25 three-point shooting to Portland. Nicolas Batum racked up 24 points, hitting 4-8 from long-range, to pace the Blazers.
In Sacramento, Utah relied on serendipity to escape with victory. The Kings led 102-101 when Devin Harris airballed his game-winning attempt with just seconds left. But he missed so badly that Al Jefferson was in position to get the ball and put it in quickly. Jefferson's layup went down with 0.9 seconds left, and the Kings couldn't answer.
Due to Houston's win, Utah remains a half of a game outside the No. 8 seed. Memphis is tied for the No. 5 seed.
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