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April 26, 2015 Updates

Memphis took a 3-0 lead in its first-round playoff series against Portland with a 115-109 victory on Saturday night. But it came with a cost: Conley left the game in the third quarter with a facial injury and was hospitalized for further evaluation. The Grizzlies were already without backup point guard Beno Udrih, who sprained his right ankle in Game 2 and sat out Saturday's game. Game 4 is set for Monday in Portland. "Without Mike, without Beno, I know how competitive we are," said Marc Gasol. "I'm sure guys will be ready." USA Today Sports

Conley, who had 14 points, went down on the court after he appeared to be caught by Portland guard CJ McCollum's elbow while going after a loose ball. Conley stayed on his hands and knees for several moments before heading to the locker room with a towel to his face. The Grizzlies said he was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. No other details were immediately available. Conley later posted to Twitter: "Proud of my guys for stepping up! Huge win tonight. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. I will be fine!" USA Today Sports

Warriors forward David Lee served as a spectator during the first-round series against the Pelicans, but he is ready to play after recovering from a lower back strain. In a potential Western Conference semifinal series against Memphis, which leads its first-round series against Portland 3-0, Lee could very well see action. Draymond Green picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter of each of the Warriors' past two wins against Memphis and was replaced by Lee, who ended up playing double-digit minutes in both games. "It's a team that plays big and that we're going to need every big on the roster ready to go, myself included," Lee said of Memphis. San Jose Mercury-News

April 25, 2015 Updates

All in all, Randolph remembered, they intended for this player to one day assume the mantle as the next dominant Trail Blazers power forward, a role Randolph then occupied, that had been handed down from Wallace before him. LaMarcus Aldridge would extend a proud lineage. He was "up next." "Um, I'm glad Zach knew, because when I was drafted, all I heard was, 'He's a project, he's soft,'" Aldridge said this week, as his Trail Blazers trail Randolph's Grizzlies 2-0 in a Western Conference first-round series that resumes Saturday at Portland's Moda Center. "And I didn't play [that first year]. I was in and out of the lineup. So I'm glad Zach knew, because I definitely didn't know." It seems unlikely, if not impossible, that Aldridge didn't know management's intentions when he first came aboard. But the news hit him like a ton of bricks when Randolph's recollection was shared with him before a postseason practice. ESPN.com

McMillan remembered the relationship between those two players as positive and supportive, even though it easily could've gone the other way. "Zach could've really been a nasty guy, had a nasty attitude about these young guys who were coming to take his position with this organization," McMillan said. "He knows they're going to be the future of the organization because he was once in that same position when he came in and Rasheed and those guys were there. He could've had an attitude toward the organization, but he didn't." ESPN.com

April 23, 2015 Updates

His shot is off. His pace has been rushed. And the combination of Mike Conley and Beno Udrih have run circles around him and the Blazers' defensive schemes. "Obviously,'' Lillard said, "I'm not helping the team. But I have to stick with it.'' Oregonian

April 22, 2015 Updates

Zach Randolph curled down Beale Street on Tuesday afternoon on foot and amid the hum of the blues clubs, he stopped cold. A group of children who attend a nearby charter school were on a walking field trip, too. They screeched, smiled and howled, surrounding the Grizzlies power forward. "My father was an alcoholic," Randoph said. "I saw drugs. I saw destruction and all that. There's a lot of poverty here. If I can stop one kid from picking up the rock, you know, stop one kid from picking up a sack of dope, then it's a win. "This is how I get my blessings." Oregonian

He consented to this interview away from the Grizzlies media relations department. Randolph did so outside mandatory NBA availability, on his own time, as if he was stopping off for groceries on his way home from work. He said he wanted to do the interview not because he feels like he owes a debt to Portland, but because he cares what Oregonians think of him. "That's a place that tried to take care of me for the first five or six years of my career," he said. Oregonian

So is Turner bitter about not getting an opportunity? "Not at all," he said. "Most definitely, I still want to be a head coach. I'd love the opportunity. No question, I'm prepared. But I know there are only 30 jobs, and when one opens up, 300 people have their names in the hat. If it doesn't happen for me, I'm just as blessed as can be to be where I am." I hope Turner -- one of the classiest guys ever to come through the Blazers' organization -- gets his shot. His demeanor reminds me a lot of Paul Silas, who served 12 years as head coach with Cleveland, the San Diego Clippers, Charlotte and New Orleans. And also of Lenny Wilkens, the Hall of Famer who is second on the NBA coaches' career win list. Portland Tribune

Turner is still hoping it will happen. "The chances are small, but I have a hell of a résumé, and I'm still adding on to it," he said. "I'm not bitter at all, but I'm ready if the opportunity comes, that's for sure." Portland Tribune

April 21, 2015 Updates

Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum has apologized for his role in a team motivational message that included an inflammatory remark about Spanish players, which was perceived as a shot at Grizzlies All-Star center Marc Gasol. "I apologize if I hurt some people," Batum said before the Blazers practiced Tuesday at FedEx Forum. "But I have total respect for Marc Gasol. He knows that. We've talked about it sometimes." Batum said his intent was never to harm Spanish people or anyone else when he contributed to a list of motivation themes the Trail Blazers posted inside the visitors' locker room before their 100-86 loss Sunday to Memphis in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. Among the messages on the laminated card was the phrase: "We don't lose to Spanish players." ESPN.com

Batum confirmed Tuesday he was responsible for the part about Spanish players and that a longstanding international basketball rivalry between France and Spain was the source of the comment. He said the message was not intended as a cultural or racist insult. Portland coach Terry Stotts and several of the team's players have said the card was never meant to be seen by media members who entered the locker room Sunday. But they also insisted nothing on the card was meant to be offensive. ESPN.com

Batum said he has not heard from the league about any potential disciplinary action and that he had not yet reached out to Gasol to apologize directly. Batum said he may have a chance during Wednesday's game to speak to Gasol to make sure the Memphis star understands the intent was not to be offensive. ESPN.com

Batum said his girlfriend, who is of Russian and Spanish descent, fussed at him for not understanding how his message on the team card could be interpreted if presented without context. "I understand how it could get out, get around and hurt people," Batum said. "I joked with Spanish players before and I do with French players all the time. I don't hate Spanish people. My girlfriend is Spanish. I don't think Marc will make a big deal about this. Worse things [are] said between France and Spain [on the court] in the summer than this was. Trust me." ESPN.com



The Gasols go 1-2 in a list short on big names 18 years into franchise history.


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