Wright came off the bench to score 21 points, including 10 straight in the fourth quarter, to lead the Grizzlies to a 79-71 victory over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.
“Maybe it was first game jitters last night (against Boston), but tonight we were just passing the ball around and we made the shots,” Wright said.
Teammate Shane Battier agreed.
“We rode him tonight. He was disappointed after going 1-for-8 last night,” Battier said. “I think we have a pretty good passing team. We have guys who understand the importance of making the extra pass.”
The Memphis reserves outscored Houston’s bench 44-8.
“Tonight our second unit was terrific. Lorenzen Wright carried us. He was just exceptional,” Memphis coach Hubie Brown said. “We’re happy for 22 turnovers on the road. Last night we played well defensively also, we just couldn’t make a shot.”
Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy was disappointed with the Rockets play.
“I’m sure part of it was carelessness and part of it was their pressure, but we didn’t react well to their pressure,” Van Gundy lamented. “We were discombobulated a lot offensively.”
With Memphis trailing 61-60 and 7:39 left, Wright scored 11 points during a 13-2 run. Houston pulled within four, 75-71, on a basket by Yao Ming with 51 seconds left, but never got closer as the Grizzlies scored the last four points.
“We were up five going into the fourth quarter and they made a run. We were making poor fouls and missing open shots. We were frustrated more than composed,” Van Gundy said.
Yao and Steve Francis led Houston with 19 points each. Yao also had 10 rebounds.
After trailing 9-4, Memphis scored 12 straight points to take a 22-13 lead into the second period. The Grizzlies moved ahead 32-21 with 6:25 left before Houston outscored them 12-2, with eight by Francis, to cut its deficit to 34-33 at the half.
Neither team led by more than four in the third period until Houston scoredthe final seven points to move ahead 56-51.
Houston announced it will not exercise its option to extend Eddie Griffin’s contract to a fourth season. Griffin is suspended from the team after missing practices for more than two weeks. He is also under police investigation for an alleged assault of a woman. Griffin’s suspension is costing him $25,697 a game. … Moochie Norris has played in 277 consecutive NBA games, the second longest active streak in the league. Shandon Anderson of New York leads with 500. … Gasol is the fourth player to score 3,000 or morecareer points for the Grizzlies. He has 3,024.