Grizzlies 110, Warriors 91

The Golden State Warriors built a 10-point lead early in the

second half before the Memphis Grizzlies and Tony Allen kicked up

the energy.

With Allen scoring, rebounding and encouraging the Memphis

faithful to their feet, the Grizzlies erased the double-digit

deficit and left not only with a 110-91 victory over the Warriors

on Wednesday night, but a tighter hold on their playoff hopes.

”(Coach Lionel Hollins) told us we just weren’t playing hard at

all,” Allen said of Hollins’ ranting about energy before the

second-half rally. ”He told us we needed to step it up a notch on

the defensive end, and that’s what we did.

”We put on our hard hats in the second half.”

Allen scored 21 points while helping reverse Memphis’

lackadaisical first-half effort. He added eight rebounds and four

assists as Memphis not only won its fifth straight at home, but

assured the Grizzlies (42-33) of their first winning season since

2005-06, the last time the team made the playoffs.

”I tell him to concentrate more on defense and less on

offense,” Hollins said of his conversations with the sometimes

aloof Allen. ”I think that some nights the opportunities are

there. He slashes. There were a lot of transition buckets. There

were a lot of times when the lane was open, and he just drove and

beat his man to the basket.”

Mike Conley and Zach Randolph scored 20 apiece, with Conley also

recording seven assists. Randolph had 13 rebounds and six assists.

Coupled with Houston’s 108-97 loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday

night, the Grizzlies now have a three-game buffer on the

Rockets.

After the game, the Memphis locker room was intently watching

the end of New Orleans’ 95-91 victory over Portland. That left the

Hornets and Trail Blazers tied for the sixth spot, only a game

ahead of Memphis.

Monta Ellis and Dorell Wright each had 16 points as Golden State

lost its eighth straight on the road. David Lee had 12 points and

nine rebounds, and Vladimir Radmanovic had 11 points, all in the

first half.

”I think because we are a team that is still growing, you have

to understand how to win on the road and how to win in tough

buildings and tough environments,” Warriors coach Keith Smart

said. ”And how to win when you are tired and banged up at this

time of the year.

”This is all a learning stage for us.”

Ellis left the floor near the end of the game with a sprained

right ankle. X-rays were negative and he is listed as

day-to-day.

”Hopefully, he’s OK,” Smart said. ”He’s done a fabulous job

for us all season long. Hopefully, everything checks out.”

Stephen Curry was 2 of 14 from the field and 1 of 6 outside the

arc for the Warriors, finishing with only six points. He did have

nine assists, but a half-dozen turnovers.

Golden State, second in the league in 3-point shooting at 39.4

percent, was 6 of 21 from outside the arc (28.6 percent).

”Tony Allen’s out there anchoring the defense,” Curry said.

”They all work together and move well. They clog the paint, and

when you get in the lane, it’s tough to finish. They’ve got some

big guys down there. We weren’t making our shots on that outside,

and that cost us.”

Meanwhile, Memphis, which leads the league in points in the

paint, held an advantage there 76-50 and helped the Grizzlies shoot

a season-best 56.5 percent on 48-of-85 shooting from the field.

Radmanovic led a rally by the Warriors bench to overtake an

early eight-point Memphis lead. While the rest of the Warriors had

misfired on their first six 3-pointers, Radmanovic was perfect on

his initial three.

The Warriors were coming off an overtime loss at Oklahoma City

on Tuesday night, but the Grizzlies were the ones who looked a tad

sluggish in the half, getting beat on the boards and not forcing

turnovers – two keys to their success.

The Grizzlies had a handful of steals in the third quarter –

three by Allen, who scored 10 points in the period. Memphis used

the energy to reverse Golden State’s momentum and ended the quarter

up 79-72. The Grizzlies then extended the lead to as many as 19 in

the fourth quarter.

”(Hollins) definitely let us play through it,” Randolph said

of the early lack of energy. ”We got it going. Tony got us going

on the defensive end with his energy, and we started playing the

game we know how to play.

”We definitely were a little lethargic when we came out, but we

definitely picked it up toward the end.”

After the Warriors took their 10-point lead early in the second

half, Memphis outscored Golden State 62-33 the rest of the way.

”They were dragging a little bit,” Hollins said of the

Warriors. ”It’s late in the season. I always say when you start

putting pressure on teams that are near or out of the playoffs, you

tend to find out if they’ll fight, and most nights they don’t.

”They didn’t have enough fight. It’s a long season, and they

were losing and tired from a game (Tuesday) night. We just did what

we had to do.”

Notes: The Warriors’ 91 points marked the first time in the last

nine games of the series that both teams didn’t reach at least 104

points. … Lee entered with double-doubles in 20 of last 36 games.

He fell one rebound short of another double-double. … Randolph

had 10 points in the fourth quarter. Memphis is 10-0 when he

reaches double-digits in the final quarter. … Memphis’ previous

high field-goal percentage for a game was 55.7 against Denver on

Feb. 13. … Memphis is 17-1 against teams playing the second night

of a back-to-back, including 14-0 at home.