Randolph, Bayless help Grizzles top Jazz

Zach Randolph has been one of the few constants for a Memphis

Grizzlies team that’s been rocked by a steady string of injuries to

key players.

And the big man was at it again on Monday night, scoring 22

points, grabbing 10 rebounds and even dishing a season-high seven

assists in the Grizzlies’ 104-94 victory over the Utah Jazz.

”We go as our leader goes,” Memphis guard Tony Allen said.

”He carried us today.”

But he also had plenty of help from a bench that scored 51

points. Jerryd Bayless scored all 17 of his points in the second

half while Mike Miller added 15 and Jon Leuer 11. The Jazz were so

worried about Randolph’s ability down low that they strayed from

the Grizzlies’ 3-point shooters.

That proved to be a costly mistake. Memphis shot 11 of 20 (55

percent) from 3-point range, using timely shots to brush back all

of Utah’s rallies. Bayless, Miller and Leuer were a combined 8 of

10 from long range.

”I’m impressed,” Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. ”We just

kept coming harder for longer stretches of time. We kept the

turnovers down, which gives us some shots. We got some offensive

rebounds. I think our mistakes are glaring at this point. The

reason that they are glaring is because there are fewer and fewer

of them.”

Memphis (12-15) has won two in the row after losing a

season-high five straight. Bayless hit two 3-pointers in a row, one

at the end of the third quarter and the other at the beginning of

the fourth, to help the Grizzlies push out to an 80-71 lead.

Utah (8-23) was led by Trey Burke and Richard Jefferson, who

each scored 18 points. Gordon Hayward added 16 points, 11 rebounds

and nine assists. Derrick Favors also scored 16.

Utah made several runs to keep the game close, but never led

after late in the first quarter, when the Grizzlies went on an 11-0

to turn a 21-18 deficit into a 29-21 advantage.

”I thought the effort was there. We’re trying,” Utah coach

Tyrone Corbin said. ”We had some lulls in there, but the guys are

fighting, and, as a result, we had chances in the ballgame. We just

couldn’t get over the hump.”

The Grizzlies pushed out to a 41-29 lead by midway through the

second quarter, but nearly lost it before recovering for a 53-48

halftime lead. Randolph led all scorers with 12 first-half points

while Burke had 11 for the Jazz.

James Johnson – a 6-foot-9 forward who the Grizzlies signed last

week from the D-League – once again received extensive playing

time. He started his second straight game and played 33 minutes,

contributing nine points, five rebounds, four blocks and a constant

stream of energy.

He swatted Hayward’s 3-point attempt into the seats just before

the end of the first quarter and jammed Jefferson’s layup attempt

back in his face in the third quarter. Both blocks received huge

cheers from the bench.

The Grizzlies need all the energy they can get these days while

trying to weather a steady stream of injuries. Tayshaun Prince sat

out a third straight game because of a sore left knee.

Randolph’s seven assists were one short of a career high.

It proved too much for Utah to overcome. The game signaled the

end of a long road trip for the Jazz, which spanned 4,684 miles and

five games over eight days.

”Their bench played extremely well, and we just didn’t match

that energy they had especially in the second half,” Jefferson

said.

NOTES: Memphis F Jon Leuer made 1 of 2 3-point attempts, which

actually dropped his season mark to 14 of 26 (53.8 percent). Leuer

has scored in double figures in eight of his last nine games …

Tony Allen was called a technical foul in the third quarter after

shoving Utah’s John Lucas III. … The Grizzlies improved to 6-10

at FedExForum.

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