Grizzlies 116, Warriors 111
The experiment of bringing O.J. Mayo off the bench is turning
into a winning formula for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Rudy Gay scored 25 points, Mayo provided a spark for the second
unit with 23, and the Grizzlies withstood a late rally to beat the
Golden State Warriors 116-111 on Friday night.
Mayo, who served in a reserve role for the third straight game,
shot 8 of 14, including 2 of 5 outside the arc. Memphis has won a
season-high three straight, all with Mayo coming off the bench.
”He makes shots,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. ”That’s
what he does. He’s a shot-maker. He came out aggressive and made
Mayo said he has been taking extra shots to break out of a
shooting slump and still seems to be adjusting to his new role. But
in each of the three games, the Memphis reserves have set a new
season high for bench scoring. Against the Warriors, the Memphis
reserves outscored the Warriors bench 45-24.
Mayo indicated he is becoming more comfortable, even offering a
nickname for the second unit.
”In practice we do a good job now of pushing the first team,
understanding we are the second team, but we ain’t no slouches,”
Mayo said. ”We’re coming into work every day. They kind of call us
the Goon Squad.
”We’re coming in and working hard every day, and if Coach looks
down the line to one of the guys on the second team, he’s not
afraid to put us in because we’ve already prepared ourselves in
Golden State center Andris Biedrins had season highs of 28
points and 21 rebounds. Stephen Curry added 26 points, while Monta
Ellis added 23 points and eight assists for the Warriors, who lost
their fifth straight, and seventh in their last eight.
Curry’s two free throws with 11.6 seconds left pulled the
Warriors within 112-111. But Gay and Mayo both hit a pair in the
final 11 seconds to seal the victory. Dorell Wright’s 3-point
attempt could have tied the game at 114 with about 4 seconds left,
but it was off the mark.
”It didn’t go down. You can’t be mad at it,” Ellis said.
”That shot didn’t cost us the game. We have to move on, and move
forward to the next (game).”
Zach Randolph and Mike Conley had 14 points apiece for Memphis,
while Marc Gasol scored 12.
Jeff Adrien had 12 points off the Golden State bench.
The Warriors played their eighth game without forward David Lee,
who is still recovering from an infected left elbow. Lee will meet
the team in Minnesota on Saturday night when the Warriors face the
That was a major difference for the Warriors, especially
”You take Zach Randolph off (the Grizzlies) for a long period
of time, and that is kind of how Lee is for us,” Warriors coach
Keith Smart said.
Biedrins worked hard inside all night to provide an offensive
punch and a 44-33 Golden State advantage on the boards. But it
wasn’t enough, as Memphis was able to keep the Warriors at bay down
”We had a real good opportunity to win this game, and we just
had a couple of mental mistakes that we shouldn’t do,” Biedrins
Memphis made its first five shots from the field and missed only
two of the initial 11 to build an early 13-point lead. But the
Warriors survived the opening Memphis flurry, and Golden State’s
guards got untracked from outside, hitting three of their first
four shots from beyond the arc. That helped erase the Memphis
Biedrins already had surpassed his season high in points midway
through the second quarter and had 14 points and 11 rebounds at
Ellis led Golden State with 16 in the half, while Curry added
13, the two guards combining to hit 5 of 7 from 3-point range. But
Memphis got a burst from Mayo, who hit five of his first six shots
in the second quarter and scored 11 points as Memphis took a 63-53
lead at the break.
Biedrins scored 10 points in the third, but Memphis still
carried an 87-82 lead into the fourth.
The Warriors still had one more rally, and almost overtook
”I thought we were right there,” Smart said. ”We came back in
this game three times. We had to claw our way back in the game to
make it a game three times. With the effort (the Warriors) are
giving, they are playing extremely hard all the way through the
game, so you can’t fault the effort.”
NOTES: Hubie Brown, who coached the Grizzlies from 2002-04 and
led them to their first playoff appearance while winning coach of
the year honors in the final season, received a standing ovation
while calling the game for ESPN2. … There were no further updates
on the status of Memphis C Hamed Haddadi, who was arrested early
Thursday on a charge of domestic assault after a fight with his
girlfriend. Haddadi was inactive for the game as he was for the
previous 10 games, but he was on the Memphis bench in street
clothes. Ellis lives in the Eads community east of Memphis and had
his teammates out for Thanksgiving dinner. Ellis bought the house,
once owned by the late Lorenzen Wright, last spring, a couple of
months before the former center’s death. …The Warriors are now
1-7 with Lee out. Biedrins previous high point performance was 10
on Nov. 10 against the Knicks.