Grizzlies throttle Knicks to clinch playoff spot
NEW YORK — Zach Randolph scored 23 points, Marc Gasol had 21 and the Memphis Grizzlies clinched a playoff spot with a 103-82 win over the New York Knicks on Monday night.
The Grizzlies (50-21) shot 52 percent from the field in their third consecutive win. Vince Carter added 14 points, Jeff Green scored 12 and Kosta Koufos had 10.
New York (14-57) has dropped four in a row and 11 of 13. Langston Galloway scored 19 points, Andrea Bargnani had 18 and reserve Jason Smith finished with 16.
The Knicks grabbed their first lead of the game on Galloway’s 3-pointer with 10:31 left in the third, but the Grizzlies closed the period with an 18-5 run. Randolph’s driving layup gave Memphis a 74-61 lead heading into the fourth period.
The Grizzlies extended their lead to 81-63 on Carter’s 3-pointer with 10:26 left.
New York pulled within 11 on Lance Thomas’ three-point play with 5:06 remaining. But Randolph made a hook shot on the other end and Carter hit another 3 to make it 93-77 with 4:15 to go.
Carter had four of Memphis’ seven 3-pointers.
The Grizzlies led by as many 14 before settling for a 30-20 lead after the first quarter. But New York trimmer Memphis’ advantage to 50-48 at the break.
Memphis has made the playoffs in five consecutive seasons. Since moving to Memphis from Vancouver prior to the 2001-02 season, the Grizzlies have made the playoffs seven times, but have only reached the Western Conference finals once in 2013.