MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies left Charlotte coach Larry Brown questioning his team’s character.
“We were selfish on both ends,” Brown said after the Grizzlies routed his Bobcats 113-80 on Wednesday night. “We didn’t play hard. We acted like we didn’t even care. I had to get into them at halftime and beg them to play. That’s not what I’m supposed to be doing. There was no effort and no teamwork.”
O.J. Mayo scored 24 points, Rudy Gay had 23 and the Grizzlies jumped to an early lead.
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“I thought it was a very professional game for us,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. “We jumped them in the second quarter and outscored them 35-16.”
Zach Randolph had 19 points and nine rebounds and Darrell Arthur finished with 10 points to help the Grizzlies run their season-best winning streak to four games.
Stephen Jackson had 16 points for the Bobcats, coming off a 97-91 home victory over Toronto on Tuesday night. Tyrus Thomas had 12 and Boris Diaw and D.J. Augustin added 10 each. Augustin also had seven assists.
“We just have to try and get back and forget about tonight,” guard Shaun Livingston said.
The Grizzlies ended a four-game losing streak against Charlotte, handing the Bobcats their third loss in four games. Charlotte played without starting forward Gerald Wallace, the Bobcats’ second-leading scorer with a 16.7 average. He’s sidelined by a sprained left ankle.
By the fourth quarter, the game turned into a Grizzlies highlight reel with one handed-alley-oop dunks, spinning, behind-the-back layups and fast-break baskets. Memphis had a 33-point lead at the midway point of the final period, and the Grizzlies got a technical foul when their bench players got caught up in the excitement and ended up too far on the floor.
At that point, Hollins took out his key players, and the reserves closed out the game, part of the Memphis bench outscoring the Charlotte reserves 53-32.
“We are getting effort from everybody,” Memphis point guard Mike Conley said. “I think the starters are doing a good job starting off the game. Then the bench comes in and contributes a lot. And that’s what we need from everybody.”
The 33-point victory was the second-largest winning margin in franchise history.
“They made shots, and they were aggressive,” Bobcats center Nazr Mohammed said. “They were attacking the basket, and we didn’t do all the things we needed to do.”
Memphis built its first-half lead early and continued to extend it all the way to the break. The advantage reached 23 in the last minute of the half as the Grizzlies took a 59-36 lead at intermission.
The Bobcats were able to cut the deficit to 17 points after halftime, but the rally was short-lived. By the time Gay threw down consecutive dunks — one on an alley-oop from Conley and the other on a break — the lead was 25 at 75-50. Memphis stretched the advantage to 30 before coasting into the fourth with an 84-55 lead.
At one point, the route was so substantial that another breakaway by Memphis led to the Charlotte players waiting on their offensive end as Arthur scored another dunk.
Brown called timeout to chastise his team again for their lack of hustle.
“It was almost like the varsity playing the JV team,” Brown said. “It was the plays (the Grizzlies) were making, and we weren’t doing anything about it. I had to call timeout just to get them to run down 30.
“I would have been out of timeouts in the first quarter if I had done that (every time).”
NOTES: Commissioner David Stern addressed the media and fans before the game on subjects ranging from the ongoing labor talks and Memphis’ position as one of the league’s up-and-coming teams. He also said he expects the league to have teams in Europe within the next 10 years. … Memphis’ last four-game winning streak was in January of last season. … Charlotte F Boris Diaw has started 166 consecutive games since joining the Bobcats in December 2008. He’s 10 games shy of the franchise games record and eight shy of the consecutive starts mark. … Memphis has held five straight opponents under 100 points. … Charlotte dropped its seventh straight road game and is 3-10 away from home this season.