The Grizzlies remained undefeated at home, the first time in franchise history they have started 2-0 at home.
“He did really great. I was impressed,” Warriors center Andris Biedrins said. “…He really made us pay for not keeping attention to him. We were more worried about Mayo and Rudy Gay, and didn’t think about (Gasol) so much.”
Gasol went 9-for-11 from the field and the free throw line for Memphis, which ended a seven-game skid in the series against Golden State. The rookie also blocked three shots.
Before the game, Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said Gasol, who has only played four games in the NBA, was still a bit confused on when he should take on some of the offensive load. Gasol said afterward that his game is built around his defense.
“I always think that the defense should give you a lot of confidence on offense,” Gasol said. “It’s hard for me to just come out and just play offense, shoot and don’t play defense. I don’t get confidence like that.”
Biedrins has 11 straight double-doubles dating to last season for the longest current streak in the league. It also was his second game with 20-plus rebounds in his career.
Memphis closed the third quarter with a 13-2 run and carried a 73-67 lead into the fourth. Mayo’s fast-break dunk capped a 7-0 surge and extended the lead to 86-75 in the final period. The Warriors managed only 12 points in the fourth, and Memphis is holding opponents to an average of 85.3 points a game.
“We didn’t do much to help ourselves,” Golden State coach Don Nelson said. “They were solid defensively. …They play hard, they play 48 minutes. We really weren’t up to the task.”
Gay scored 14 points and Mayo added 13 for Memphis. Kelenna Azubuike scored 10 for the Warriors, who shot 34 percent from the field.
“I think this was one of those games where we were getting a lot of open shots,” Warriors rookie guard DeMarcus Nelson said. “They were the same shots we’ve been getting, but tonight we just didn’t convert and complete a high percentage of them.”
Memphis, which led by as many as nine in the first half, carried a 49-45 advantage into the break. Gasol had 20 points and nine boards at halftime.
Despite Gasol’s big first half, the Warriors stayed close and erased the Memphis lead with nine unanswered points midway through the third. Nelson had the final two baskets in the run.
Memphis got out of its offense, playing 1-on-1 and taking ill-advised shots late in the shot clock. But in the fourth, Memphis turned up the defense, the Warriors began missing shots and the Grizzlies pulled away.
“I really think all five guys are working together, talking, moving together as one team, and just taking a lot of pride in our defense,” Mayo said. “We’ve put together two home wins, and that’s pretty good for us.”
Maggette, the Warriors’ second-leading scorer, went to the locker room late in the first quarter with a mild left hamstring strain. He returned at the start of the second half. … Warriors F Rob Kurz, signed by the team Sunday, dressed for his first game. The 6-foot-9 rookie out of Notre Dame appeared in four preseason games for Golden State, averaging 4.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists. The team waived him Oct. 27. To make room for Kurz, the Warriors moved G Monta Ellis to the suspended list. … The Warriors are the youngest team in the league with an average age of 24 years and 71 days on opening day and one of the few teams in the league with more rookies (five) than the Grizzlies (four). However, the Grizzlies have started three of their rookies (Gasol, Mayo and Darrell Arthur) most of the season, while only DeMarcus Nelson is getting significant playing time for the Warriors’ first-year players.