Trail Blazers 109, Grizzlies 89
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ Point guard Damon Stoudamire, paid $81 million to lead the Portland Trail Blazers’ backcourt over the next seven years, started delivering Friday night.
Stoudamire scored 11 of his 19 points in the third quarter as the Trail Blazers beat the Vancouver Grizzlies 109-89 in an exhibition game.
Brian Grant added 18 points, 14 in the second quarter, as the Trail Blazers, coming off Thursday’s 108-81 win over Seattle, completed their NBA exhibition schedule at 2-0.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who signed a six-year $71 million contract on Wednesday, scored 26 points to lead the Grizzlies in their preseason opener. Grizzlies rookie Mike Bibby, selected second overall in last June’s draft, scored seven points and added four assists in 32 minutes.
Portland center Arvydas Sabonis missed the game after injuring the small toe on his left foot during warm ups. A team official said the injury was not serious. The Trail Blazers were also without Isaiah Rider, who injured his left hamstring during training camp.
The Blazers never trailed after Grant scored a layup, giving Portland a 24-22 lead at the start of the second quarter.
The Grizzlies had a sloppy outing, committing 27 turnovers that led to 34 Portland points.
After falling behind by as many as 14 points, the Grizzlies pulled within three of the Trail Blazers with 1:44 left in the third quarter before wilting down the stretch.
Prior to the game, Grizzlies president and GM Stu Jackson made a speech from center court, welcoming back the fans and telling them that the Grizzlies owed them for sticking with the NBA through the lockout.
Abdur-Rahim was handed the microphone and also made a brief speech, saying, ``On behalf of myself and my teammates, we just want to say thank you for coming out tonight and continuing to support us. We know it’s been a long, long wait. We’re happy to have basketball back in British Columbia.″