While the Memphis Grizzlies couldn’t get on track offensively,
their outstanding defense proved up to the challenge against one of
the NBA’s highest-scoring teams.
The Grizzlies aren’t likely to face as difficult of a task on
Friday night when they visit the New Orleans Hornets, one of the
lowest-scoring teams in the Western Conference.
Memphis (46-21), however, will have to remain focused following
a dramatic 90-89 overtime victory over Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
Marc Gasol tipped in Zach Randolph’s miss with less than a second
remaining to give the Grizzlies an emotional win over the defending
Mike Conley finished with a team-high 24 points, while Jerryd
Bayless added 20 and hit a key 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds left to
send the game to overtime.
Gasol and Randolph combined for 29 points and 33 rebounds
despite shooting 11 for 35.
With Memphis making just 36.0 percent as a team, its defense
keyed the victory. The Grizzlies held an Oklahoma City team that
ranks near the top of the NBA in scoring (106.4) to just 83 points
in regulation, 2 of 18 shooting from 3-point range and a season-low
35.7 percent from the field.
“We win in a variety of ways. It’s never pretty,” said Conley.
“That’s that grit-and-grind motto right there. We just find a way
to win however it is.”
Memphis, which leads the NBA at 89.2 points allowed per game,
won for the 16th time in 19 games and kept pace in a three-team
fight with Denver and the Los Angeles Clippers for third place in
Now the Grizzlies will try to snap a two-game road skid on
Friday against the Hornets (23-46), who rank near the bottom of the
West at 93.9 points per game
Southwest Division-worst New Orleans is also coming off a
last-second victory as Anthony Davis overcame a stomach ailment and
tapped in the go-ahead bucket in an 87-86 win over Boston on
“I was really tired, but I knew my team needed me, so I was
trying to fight through it,” said Davis, who had nine points and
eight rebounds. “I’m glad I did. It was a big win for us.”
Ryan Anderson had 21 points and Eric Gordon added 18 to help the
Hornets rally from a 13-point second-half deficit and snap a
four-game losing streak.
New Orleans, though, will have to find a way to knock down its
open looks against the defensive-minded Grizzlies after averaging
85.3 points on 41.7 percent shooting in its last four games.
Memphis looks to take three of four in the season series after
winning 96-89 in New Orleans on Dec. 7 and 96-85 at home on March
9. The Hornets limited the Grizzlies to 36.4 percent shooting in a
91-83 win in Memphis on Jan. 27.
Randolph totaled 35 points and 20 rebounds for Memphis in the
first two games against New Orleans before missing the last contest
because of a left ankle sprain.
Anderson has been a key weapon for the Hornets, averaging 18.0
points and hitting 11 for 25 from 3-point range over the three
Davis, meanwhile, had one of his best games against the
Grizzlies earlier this month, totaling 20 points and 18
Memphis has won seven of nine in this series overall and three
of four in New Orleans.