Grizzlies 105, Bucks 85

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—Having tied a franchise record for wins, the Memphis Grizzlies are getting greedy.

“I would like to get 50 wins. Why not?” forward Pau Gasol said after scoring 27 points and grabbing 12 rebounds Friday night in the Grizzlies’ 105-85 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

The win was the Grizzlies’ third straight and matched their 28 victories from last season—the most in franchise history. The Bucks lost their third straight overall and sixth consecutive road game.

Gasol’s desired 50 wins would require a 22-11 record the rest of the way, but matching the franchise standard three games before the All-Star break is an example of how far coach Hubie Brown has taken the team.

“I never would have imagined this (record) this fast,” said center Lorenzen Wright. “But Hubie told us this was how it was going to go. Everything he’s told us has panned out.”

For Gasol, it was a big turnaround from Memphis’ last home game when fans booed him for soft inside play. He shot 9-for-14 and grabbed 12 rebounds as Memphis dominated the inside with all three front line starters recording double-doubles.

“He did whatever he wanted,” Milwaukee coach Terry Porter said of Gasol. “He went anywhere on the court he wanted to go.”

James Posey had 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Lorenzen Wright added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jason Williams had 10 assists for the Grizzlies with no turnovers.

Michael Redd led the Bucks with 20 points, while Tim Thomas scored 18. Damon Jones added 11 and Desmond Mason finished with 10, both in reserve roles.

The Grizzlies built a double-digit lead at the start of a 10-1 run early in the third period and never let it get below 10 the rest of the way. The final 20-point advantage was Memphis’ largest of the night.

The Bucks were hindered by 37 percent shooting, including 5-of-18 by Redd and T.J. Ford’s 0-for-7.

“I don’t mind losing, but I really don’t like getting outworked,” Porter said. “I thought we got outworked tonight. It’s probably the most disappointing loss because we didn’t play.”

It was a style that was up a notch even from Memphis’ normal aggressive play. Besides Gasol’s inside force, Posey was on the floor constantly going for loose balls and rebounds. Memphis controlled the boards 53-38, but also ran, outscoring the Bucks 20-8 on the break.

“One of our goals was to go out and get easy baskets,” Williams said. “It makes it easier for us.”

Memphis led 57-48 at the half led by Gasol. The 7-foot forward from Spain came out more fiery than usual, scoring 16 points in the first half on 7-of-9 shooting with six rebounds. He showed a stronger presence inside, driving harder to the basket and while going for rebounds.

“I was aggressive from the beginning of the game, and that helped me concentrate and focus on every play,” Gasol said.

Redd led the Bucks with 16 in the half, and Thomas had 12.

Memphis would lead by as many as 19 in the third and carried an 85-68 leadinto the final period.

Notes

A second-quarter collision near midcourt caused a bruised chest for Memphis G Mike Miller and reinjured Mason’s left wrist. A resulting confrontation between several players led to four technical fouls. Mason also was called for a flagrant foul on the play, and Miller, already suffering a sore back, left the game and did not return. … Joe Smith, injured in a collision near the end of the Bucks’ previous game against Houston, did not play because of a sore back and left hip. It was the first game Smith missed this season. … The Bucks trailed by 16 in the first half, marking the 31st time in 49 games they’ve had a deficit of at least 10. … The Grizzlies are 18-1 when leading after three quarters. …The Bucks are 7-18 on the road. “We’re just tired of losing on the road,” Michael Redd said. “We play well at home, but when we go on the road, we play like a (different) team.” …The Grizzlies, who lead the league in blocks, had 10 in the game, led by Gasol’sfive.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Milwaukee
M. Redd M. Redd
5-18,  20 Pts
8 Rebs, 2 Assists
 Memphis
P. Gasol P. Gasol
9-14,  27 Pts
12 Rebs, 0 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists