Randolph leads Grizzlies past Bobcats 95-92

By Mike Cranston
AP Sports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Zach

Randolph had 16 points and eight rebounds for Memphis and the Grizzlies

held off the Charlotte Bobcats for a 95-92 victory on Friday in the

final exhibition game for both teams.

DeMarre Carroll had the tiebreaking layup with 13 seconds left, and Sam

Young added 13 points. The Grizzlies (3-5) lost point guard Mike Conley

to a sprained right ankle in the first quarter in the game, which began

at 10:30 a.m. and was played in front of more than 16,000, high-pitched

middle school students.

Allen Iverson

avoided the noise by staying in the locker room during the game.

Iverson did work out before tipoff but said it’s a “long shot” he’ll be

cleared for the Grizzlies’ season opener Wednesday against Detroit.

But Iverson was upbeat, saying he has “not one bit of pain” in his

partially torn left hamstring and is confident he’ll quickly learn the

offense and his teammates’ tendencies.

The

Bobcats (2-6), who have their own injury concerns, got 15 points from

Raymond Felton and 14 from Boris Diaw. Charlotte was outrebounded 48-37.

Conley lasted only 7 minutes, leaving Marcus Williams to get the bulk

of time at point guard. Williams had two driving layups as Memphis

built an 82-75 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Charlotte

rallied to tie on Vladimir Radmanovic’s 3-pointer with 36 seconds left.

Carroll’s layup put Memphis back ahead, and Radmanovic didn’t hit iron on a 3-point attempt at the other end.

Randolph, who was 2-for-12 from the field in Wednesday’s loss to Miami,

dominated inside early as Memphis built a 52-42 halftime lead.

Charlotte’s Tyson Chandler looked better in his second game back from

offseason ankle surgery, but still appeared far from being in game

shape. He had eight points and six rebounds on 4-of-6 shooting, but

struggled defensively and was often trailing the play.

The Bobcats played their second straight game without shooting guard

Raja Bell, who said before the game he would find out later Friday the

results of a second opinion on the partially torn ligament in his left

wrist. Bell said he expects to decide soon whether to play through the

injury or have surgery, which would sideline him up to four months.

Charlotte rallied early in the fourth quarter with Grizzlies rookie

Hasheem Thabeet on the court. He looked awkward in badly missing a

midrange jumper on 1-for-4 shooting. He also threw down Gerald Wallace

and was called for a foul early in the fourth quarter. Wallace jumped

up and got in Thabeet’s face, but they were quickly separated.

The replacement officials called 43 fouls and produced one laugh when

Nick Buchart told upset Bobcats coach Larry Brown, “I’m sorry Mr.

Brown.” Buchart later hit Memphis forward Rudy Gay with a technical

foul after he argued he was fouled.