The fifth-seeded Grizzlies will meet the top-seeded Golden State Warriors in the NBA playoff quarterfinals beginning Sunday in Oakland, California.
“It is going to be a tough battle,” said Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph on playing Golden State. “We have got to be ready because it is going to be a battle.”
In the other game Wednesday, Al Horford and Jeff Teague made key shots down the stretch and the Atlanta Hawks regained momentum in their series by beating the Brooklyn Nets 107-97 to take a 3-2 series lead.
The Grizzlies were without Mike Conley who underwent surgery Monday to repair multiple facial fractures after taking an elbow to the face in the third quarter of a game three win in Portland.
Doctors had to insert several metal plates into the area surrounding Conley’s eye. He is expected to miss at least another week and maybe more time, said coach Dave Joerger.
Memphis guard Courtney Lee scored 20 points, Randolph finished with 16 points and eight rebounds while Jeff Green came off the bench to tally 10 points and seven rebounds.
Portland reserve guard CJ McCollum scored 16 of his career-high 33 points in the third quarter.
Memphis led by seven points at the half then opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run. The Grizzlies also led 68-66 going into the fourth quarter.
The score was 76-75 Grizzlies with 7:28 left in regulation. Memphis then went on a 9-0 surge to go up by 10 on a jump shot by Randolph with 3:27 to go.
“I just tried to be aggressive and play smart,” said Randolph.
Forward DeMarre Carroll had a game-high 24 points for Atlanta, who led by as many as 17 points in the first half and took an 82-70 lead into the fourth quarter of their Eastern Conference first round series contest.
Carroll scored 19 of his points in the opening 24 minutes, Horford added 20 points and 15 rebounds in the win as the home team has held serve in each game of the series so far.
Teague finished with 20 points and eight assists for the Hawks, who have won 13 of their last 15 home games against the Nets.