Randolph, Grizzlies power past Knicks to snap losing skid
Pound it into the paint, pound your opponent on the backboards.
The Memphis Grizzlies rediscovered their winning formula Saturday, getting 25 points and 15 rebounds from Zach Randolph and snapping a five-game losing streak with a 95-87 victory over the New York Knicks.
Tony Allen added 19 points and eight boards while providing his usual strong defense. Jerryd Bayless scored 11 points, including two free throws to end a Knicks flurry that had trimmed a 19-point deficit to four in the final half-minute.
"This was going to be a tough one. It is not easy winning here," point guard Mike Conley said. "For us to come in and win says a lot. Hopefully this will spark something for us."
Conley finished with nine points and eight assists after missing two games with a bruised left thigh for the Grizzlies, who had a 56-29 rebounding advantage and outscored the Knicks 60-28 in the paint.
"That’s embarrassing, especially when you start a big lineup," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said, adding that Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani needed to rebound better.
"I thought that was the difference."
Anthony scored 30 points, while reserves J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. each had 16 for the Knicks. Chandler had eight points and six rebounds in his second game back from a broken leg, while Bargnani managed just three points and two boards in 22 minutes after moving back into the starting lineup.
Randolph and the Grizzlies front line outworked the Knicks, methodically increasing their lead until they were able to build a big cushion with a 15-5 run that spanned the end of the third quarter and early fourth.
"It was real critical me being aggressive, getting to the free throw line, making shots. Something I’ve been trying to do these last couple of games," Randolph said. "Been a lot of focus on me packing the paint. I was kind of hoping that I could operate down there."
Randolph had 10 points and eight rebounds in the third quarter, including a follow shot for the first of three straight Memphis baskets that turned an eight-point lead into a 72-58 advantage. He made two free throws to open the fourth, then Bayless had the next three field goals for the Grizzlies to push the lead to 81-63.
Memphis seemed comfortably ahead after Randolph scored in the lane and Allen came up with a steal and basket to make it 91-78 with 3:04 to play, but Smith and Anthony made consecutive 3-pointers to start a run of nine straight Knicks points that made it 91-87 with 25 seconds remaining.
Bayless than knocked down a pair of free throws and Allen closed it out with a final basket.
"I thought that we played really, really hard," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. "Every coach puts up on his board, `play hard, play smart, play together.’ I thought just about every single minute of the game we played hard."
The Knicks fell to 4-10 at home, matching their total number of home losses all of last season in 41 games.
The Knicks tried to change their luck in home day games, where they had lost by 41 points to the Celtics and 31 to the Spurs in noon starts, by staying in a hotel the night before. They were much more competitive, but far from good enough until it was too late.
"It’s a sense of inconsistency right now," Anthony said. "We have spurts where we’re playing great basketball and then we just have spurts where we’re just dead out there. So we’ve got to get better at that."
Memphis is still playing without Marc Gasol and Tayshaun Prince, but was stabilized by the return of Conley, even though he shot just 4 of 18 and failed to score in double figures for the first time this season.
The Grizzlies jumped to a 17-8 lead, but Knicks woke up early this time compared to the previous matinees and cut it to 25-22 after one. Memphis scored the final five points of the half, taking a 50-40 lead into the break after Ed Davis’ dunk with a second left.
Notes: Knicks forward Metta World Peace sat out with a sore left knee for the third time this season. … The Grizzlies are 0-7 against Southwest Division teams but improved to 11-8 against everyone else.