Grizzlies 108, Bulls 93
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—James Posey’s reputation is for his defense, and lately that is contributing to his offense.
Posey, who routinely draws one of the opponent’s top scorers, was 5-of-9 from the field and hit all 10 of his free throws to help Memphis win its third straight and fifth in the last six. Posey also had four steal and two blocked shots.
“The defensive end is where I get my energy from,” said Posey, who is averaging just over 18 points in the last five games. “Some guys get their energy when they score. Not me. I try to get steals, deflections, charges and try to bring that energy. That’s how I get going.”
The Bulls have lost four of five.
After Scottie Pippen hit a jumper to cut Memphis’ lead to 88-81 with 5:09 left, Posey scored 10 of the Grizzlies next 12 points to build the Grizzlies’ lead up to 16 in the final minute.
“He does all the little things that make a team have chemistry,” Memphis coach Hubie Brown said. “He’s quiet, he’s very professional and he only takes good shots. He makes great intangible plays. Plays that are difficult.”
The Grizzlies closed the half with a 16-3 run to take a 56-42 lead at the break. Williams, who had 18 in the half, closed the second quarter with a desperation shot from beyond halfcourt that banked in at the horn.
“That shot that Jason Williams made took the air out of our balloon,” Crawford said. “That was a tough one to go into halftime with.”
Memphis built the lead to 19 in the third. The Bulls closed the quarter with an 11-4 run, cutting the Grizzlies’ lead to 79-68 entering the fourth quarter.
“We had a nice rhythm early on, but the Grizzlies got a lot of deflections,” Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. “This team has not playedconsistent enough to be a winning NBA team.”
Bulls C Antonio Davis and Skiles got back-to-back technicals with 3:46 left in the half after Davis thought he was fouled. … This marks the earliest in the season the Grizzlies (20-18) have reached 20 wins. … Chicago has lost all nine games against Midwestern Division teams and is 1-14 against the Western Conference. …The Bulls have not scored 100 points since a 104-99 win over the Knicks on Jan. 2. …The 13 points for Crawford and Williams tied a Bulls team-low for high scorer in a game this season. … Memphis C LorenzenWright tied a career-high with four steals.