MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Something had to give. The New York Knicks were undefeated, having won their first six games. The Memphis Grizzlies were on a six-game winning streak of their own and coming off back-to-back wins over the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Friday at FedExForum the Grizzlies delivered an encore before a national television audience, using a 31-point third quarter to stretch a five-point halftime lead into a 105-95 victory. The only thing that piled up faster than the Grizzlies' points in the quarter were the Knicks' fouls -- 12 in all, including three technicals and one flagrant.
Memphis forward Zach Randolph, the league's leading rebounder, added 15 more boards, and with his 20 points notched his eighth double-double of the season as the Grizzlies improved to 7-1. Center Marc Gasol scored a season-high 24 points and spent much of the night at the foul line, where he went 12-for-13.
After trailing by as many as 21 points, the Knicks cut the lead to eight with 4:42 to play on a pull-up jumper from J.R. Smith, but they could get no closer and a Randolph put-back and a Rudy Gay 3-pointer pushed the lead back to 13 with 3:13 to play. The Knicks' 95 points (20 of them coming from Carmelo Anthony) were a season low. New York came in averaging a league-best 103.5 points per game.
Memphis led 54-49 at the half after Mike Conley rebounded his own missed layup and knocked down his second 3-pointer of the half to complete the scoring. The second quarter included some push-and-shove between backup Griz point guard Jerryd Bayless and Smith. The officials charged Bayless with a personal foul and gave both players technicals.
NOTES: Not only was Friday's game a matchup of conference leaders (the Knicks were 6-0 and atop the East; the Grizzlies 6-1 and first in the West), but it featured the teams that turn the ball over the least. The Knicks led the league with just 10.17 turnovers per game; Memphis was second at 13.29 ... The last time the Knicks started 6-0 was the 1993-94 season ... The Grizzlies' 7-1 start is the best in franchise history; they also are on a 15-game regular-season home winning streak that dates back to March 18, 2012 vs. Washington ... Griz forward Zach Randolph leads the league with 14.0 rebounds per game. He is averaging 16.7 points ... Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he had been looking forward to their Nov. 15 game at San Antonio, which they won 104-100 by outscoring the Spurs 32-24 in the fourth quarter. "I was anxious to get to that game, just to see how we would fare," Woodson said. "Our team is new, still trying to figure out one another. It was a big win for us. We can play with anybody in this league."