Gasol scored 33 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead Memphis to its seventh straight victory on Sunday, 102-95 over the Charlotte Bobcats. Two nights earlier, his 36-point effort led the Grizzlies in a win over New York.
The fifth-year forward scored 30 or more in back-to-back games for the first time this season, and was named Western Conference player of the week for the second time this month on Monday.
Gasol’s scoring surge has helped the Grizzlies earn a chance at equaling the team-record win streak at eight games, set from Jan. 11-25, 2004.
Reserve Mike Miller added 20 points against Charlotte and is averaging 18.7 in the last three games, about five above his season average.
Lorenzen Wright scored 13 points for the Grizzlies in a game that was delayed 90 minutes because of a small fire in a freight elevator that forced the evacuation of the building.
“With this kind of incident like we had, it was hard to be 100 percent focused,” said Gasol, shooting 60.6 percent over the last four games. “But we found a way. That’s what we’ve been doing. They played hard and they didn’t quit.”
Memphis played especially hard on the boards, outrebounding the Bobcats 47-33.
The Grizzlies are wrapping up a stretch during which they play eight of nine games at home, where they are 11-2 since Feb. 1.
A victory Tuesday would give Memphis a four-game sweep of Seattle after coming into this season with just five wins in 38 all-time meetings.
In three matchups this season, the Grizzlies have won by an average margin of 18.0 points while holding the Sonics to 79.7 points per game on 39 percent shooting. That’s quite a feat against a Seattle team which is second in the NBA in scoring at 102.2 points per contest.
The Sonics did not have much trouble scoring against another of the league’s best defenses—and one of its top teams—in a 106-102 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
Seattle shot 52 percent from the field and made 10-of-16 from 3-point range.
“I told the team before the game that today’s the kind of game that All-Stars need to play like All-Stars and guys playing for contracts need to play like they want to get paid,” said Sonics coach Bob Hill. “That’s how we played. I thought our effort was outstanding the whole game. Everybody who stepped on the floor played really hard, and I thought for the most part played good.”
Seattle’s lone All-Star, Allen, hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 5.4 seconds left to cap a 33-point performance. Allen was 13-for-23 from the field and hit 5-of-6 from beyond the arc after being held to a combined 29 points on 10-of-33 shooting in the two previous games.
Luke Ridnour added 19 points and seven assists for the Sonics, who won their third straight at home but have lost 16 of 20 on the road.