The Grizzlies may need him to do the same Friday when they host the Milwaukee Bucks.
With O.J. Mayo(notes) continuing to serve a league-imposed 10-game suspension, the Grizzlies found themselves even more short-handed Tuesday, when a sprained right big toe forced Rudy Gay(notes) and his 20.0 points per game to the sidelines at Oklahoma City.
Allen helped Memphis (28-26) overcome those absences with a season-best 27-point effort in a 105-101 overtime victory over the Northwest Division leaders.
“The guy was an all-pro (Tuesday) on both ends of the floor…I thought he won the game for them,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Allen, who also had five steals and three blocks. “Certain guys in this league compete every possession, and he’s one of them. He competes every possession, and I love guys that hate getting scored on.”
All five starters scored in double figures for the Grizzlies, who will be without Mayo for two more games. Gay’s status remains unknown.
“Having Rudy out and O.J. not here and guys banged up here and there but to still come out and beat a good team like Oklahoma City, it shows a lot about our team,” said point guard Mike Conley(notes), who had 13 points and four assists.
Gay and Mayo had 11 points apiece in Memphis’ 94-81 victory at Milwaukee on Jan. 22, when Grizzlies center Marc Gasol(notes) led all scorers with 24. Allen wasn’t much of a factor, scoring two points in a little more than six minutes off the bench.
Although the Grizzlies won that matchup, they have lost four consecutive home games to Milwaukee since a 100-90 victory April 7, 2006.
Memphis, which has won nine of 12 overall, this time gets the luxury of facing a Milwaukee club that has dropped five of six.
The Bucks (20-31), 2 1/2 games behind Indiana for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, fell 100-85 at Washington on Wednesday.
“We needed this win (Wednesday). It’s important for us to beat these teams that we are capable of beating. There shouldn’t be a point where we have these fall back games.” said Corey Maggette(notes), who had averaged 19.6 points over his previous eight games before finishing with 10 against the Wizards.
“These are games we need to continue to put us in that playoff race we need to be in. We took a step back and we just got to try to get ready for Memphis to take a step forward again.”
“I’m still struggling with my outside shot - no legs, a little bit - but just trying to get to the basket to do what I can,” he said.
Jennings, who missed last month’s loss to Memphis, is averaging 27.5 points in two career meetings with the Grizzlies.
The Bucks have lost four straight road games by an average of 10.8 points.