SAN ANTONIO – LaMarcus Aldridge is back on the floor after a recent heart issue and expects to enjoy better productivity when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
Aldridge scored 19 points but was just 9-of-24 shooting during Wednesday's 110-106 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers after missing two games due to minor heart arrhythmia.
This is the third time Aldridge has dealt with heart problems during his standout career but says he has the proper safeguards in place.
"I know my body well, and I've been through this before," Aldridge told reporters. "I told the team and we did the protocol. I saw the right people, and I'm good to go. As we got into it more and more, I talked to more people about it. I was feeling more confident, because it definitely ... it started off the opposite."
The second-place Spurs are 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference, while the Grizzlies have won three straight games and sit a half-game behind the sixth-place Oklahoma City Thunder.
Standout point guard Mike Conley fueled the Memphis winning streak with three straight 20-point outings and is averaging 23 points and 9.7 assists during the stretch.
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ABOUT THE SPURS (52-15): All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard hasn't missed a beat since missing one game due to a concussion as he scored 31 points against Atlanta on Monday and recorded 34 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals in the loss to Portland. Leonard topped 30 points in six of the seven games he has played in March and is averaging 31.3 points during the stretch. Veteran forward David Lee received more playing time with Aldridge ailing and is averaging 12.7 points on 16-of-20 shooting over the past three contests.
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (39-30): All-Star center Marc Gasol registered 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists during Thursday's 103-91 victory over the Atlanta Hawks for his third career triple-double. Gasol was aggressive from the outset while setting the tone for the solid victory and Memphis coach David Fizdale was pleased with the big man's effort.
"You can see it," Fizdale told reporters. "Can't you tell with Marc? It's like 'I'm going after this one.' You could tell with his aggression about scoring and making plays. I just saw it right away. He didn't pass up shots. He took those shots."
1. The Grizzlies defeated the visiting Spurs 89-74 on Feb. 6 when Leonard (quadriceps) and C Pau Gasol (broken hand) were sidelined.
2. Memphis PF Zach Randolph is averaging eight points on 8-of-27 shooting over the past two games.
3. San Antonio PG Tony Parker (back) will likely miss his fifth straight game.