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
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
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
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
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