Magic beaten by Grizzlies 100-97
By ADRIAN SAINZ
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins implored guard Mike Conley to be more aggressive.
The fourth-year guard responded with 26 points and 11 assists to help Memphis beat Orlando 100-97 on Monday night. It was the first time he had more than 20 points and 10 assists in the same game.
"He told me I had to go for 30, and I tried, I tried." Conley said of Hollins. "I did what it took to win."
The Grizzlies climbed above .500 (25-24) for the first time since the third game of the season. They have won six of their last seven games.
Hollins became the coach with the most wins in Grizzlies history with 96, surpassing Mike Fratello. He downplayed the achievement, saying winning a conference final and an NBA championship "would please me more than being the winningest coach."
Six players scored in double figures for Memphis. Marc Gasol had 19 points while Zach Randolph, who was named the Western Conference player of the week Monday, added 10 points and nine rebounds.
Reserve forward Darrell Arthur scored 14 points and Rudy Gay added 13.
Orlando is now 7-6 in the second game of a back-to-back. The Magic are 6-6 since their nine-game win streak was snapped Jan. 12.
"Again, we dug ourselves a big hole and ... we fought back and came up short," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "It's becoming some of the same old story all the time."
Dwight Howard scored 25 points and Jason Richardson added 18 for Orlando. Gilbert Arenas returned to action after missing Sunday's game against Cleveland with a left knee contusion. He scored 10 points.
Orlando rallied from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Arenas made one of two foul shots to cut the Grizzlies lead to 98-97 with 40 seconds left.
Conley stole the ball from Orlando forward Ryan Anderson and was fouled. Howard was then called for a technical foul and Randolph made the free throw.
Conley made one of two free throws before Richardson's shot missed badly. Howard's technical foul was the reason the Magic had to shoot a 3-pointer just to tie the game.
Conley's steal on Anderson's offensive rebound was crucial because it gave the ball back to the Grizzlies with a one point lead, instead of giving the Magic another possession.
"I knew I couldn't jump to get the rebound, so I waited for him to bring it down, and right when he brought it down to my lap, I just reached and grabbed and tried to rip out as fast as I could," Conley said.
Memphis led 86-74 after three quarters, but Orlando went on a 12-2 run and eventually tied the game at 96 on two Hedo Turkoglu free throws with 2:15 left in the game.
Gasol dunked to give Memphis a 98-96 lead, and Orlando managed just one free throw the rest of the way.
The Grizzlies shot 53 percent and scored 22 points on 19 Magic turnovers.
"We were playing with incredible energy," Hollins said. "We took a few punches and we just kept battling."
Memphis' hot shooting carried over from the first half -- when it shot 63 percent -- and into the third, with the Grizzlies making first three of their first four shots. A dunk by Gasol gave them a 61-60 lead.
A dunk by Howard gave Orlando a 62-61 advantage. Memphis followed with an 11-4 spurt, building a 72-66 lead on a 3-pointer by Conley with 7:20 left in the third.
Magic forward Brandon Bass left the game in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle after he landed on Randolph's left foot on a jump shot. He did not return.
Orlando guard J.J. Redick missed the game with a left shoulder problem. He is day-to-day.
NOTES: Grizzlies guard Tony Allen and Van Gundy has a brief confrontation in the first quarter. During a timeout, Van Gundy told an official that Allen shouldn't speak to Van Gundy because "I haven't talked to him." Allen tried to tell Van Gundy and an official that he didn't say anything. ... Randolph averaged 21 points and 15 rebounds in guiding the Grizzlies to a 3-1 record last week.
Updated January 31, 2011