76ers rout Grizzlies 120-101
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—The Philadelphia 76ers relied on one of the best 3-point shooting nights in franchise history to finally snap their six-game losing skid.
Jason Kapono(notes) and Andre Iguodala(notes) each had 15 points, with Kapono going 5 of 7 from long range. Jodie Meeks(notes) had 14 points, and Willie Green(notes) added 12. Philadelphia was 14 of 26 from 3-point range and shot 57 percent overall. The Sixers also made 14 3-pointers twice previously, including this season at Oklahoma City.
“Any time a shooter gets a couple of shots to go down, it seems like he can’t miss,” Meeks said. “If you knock a couple down, you want the ball again.”
Philadelphia built its lead in the third quarter, outscoring Memphis 35-20, then maintained the advantage through the fourth. The game got out of hand enough that Memphis coach Lionel Hollins took his starters out with more than 2 minutes left, giving the fans a chance to cheer for them one more time in the Grizzlies’ home finale.
Hollins already had seen enough surprises on the night. The Sixers are not known as a particularly good shooting team from outside the arc, hitting just under 34 percent for the season.
“They’re (25th) in the league in 3-point shooting,” Hollins said. “When a team comes out and starts raining 3s, it’s pretty tough.”
Philadelphia ended up shooting 62 percent from the field in the second half, including making half of its 12 from outside the arc.
“They had a good rhythm, a good flow,” Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said. “We were going after the ball. We always say: ‘If you work hard, you have fun.”’
With both teams out of the playoffs, it was a matter of finishing out the season, and, at times, the defensive intensity was lacking. Both teams shot better than 50 percent in the first half.
Philadelphia erased Memphis’ halftime lead by outhustling the Grizzlies, building the advantage to as many as 13 in the third. The Sixers’ third-quarter rally helped Philadelphia carry an 86-78 lead into the fourth period.
“They closed out the half really well,” Meeks said of Memphis’ run. “At halftime, we just decided to come out aggressive and looking to score.”
NOTES: The Grizzlies ended the season with an 8-2 record against the Atlantic Division. Their only other loss was 110-105 to Boston on Dec. 14. … The loss dropped Memphis to 13-2 at home against teams with a losing record. … Philadelphia has two players with ties to Memphis. Carney played at the University of Memphis. Thaddeus Young(notes) is from Memphis. Young did not play because of injury. The Sixers announced Wednesday that the forward would be shut down for the rest of the year with a fractured right thumb. … Memphis G O.J. Mayo(notes) left the game midway through the first quarter because of a mild left ankle sprain. He returned later in the quarter, but was hobbling, before finally leaving for good. He’s listed as day-to-day.