Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball:

Grizzlies get back on track at home

The SportsXchange

MEMPHIS - After losing three of their last four games - all road losses - the Memphis Grizzlies re-discovered their magic formula Friday night.

Homecourt plus ball movement plus balanced scoring led to a 103-94 victory over the Houston Rockets before a sellout crowd of 18,119 at FedExForum.

With the fifth-place Grizzlies (48-24) trying to regain fourth place and homecourt advantage in the playoffs, Memphis started the night hitting six of its first nine shots. It never dipped under 50 percent from the field.

Zach Randolph shook his recent slump, collecting 21 points and 12 rebounds, and fellow postman Marc Gasol also had 21 points.

Mike Conley also had a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists. Tony Allen had 16 points, Jerryd Bayless added 14 points off the bench and Tayshaun Prince had 10 points and eight rebounds.

"It's tough this time of year," Conley said. "You're playing some teams that are pushing for seeding and some teams that are out of it. Every game is going to be tough regardless of who you play. We got stops, we got in transition and we were unselfish."

Houston (39-33), which rested its starters the entire fourth quarter, was led by Chandler Parsons and Donatas Motiejunas, who scored 16 points each.

"I'm happy those guys (the Houston starters) didn't play the fourth quarter," Grizzlies' coach Lionel Hollins said. "When you play those type of teams, you have to match them and you have to figure out how to catch up to what they are doing."

Memphis eventually did that. The Rockets' shooting went from 60 percent in the opening quarter, but steadily went downhill, finishing at 42 percent. Only a boost by the Houston bench, which cut the Grizzlies' lead to nine with 9:23 left, gave Houston a hint of offense in the second half.

"When they (the Grizzlies) came out, they came out with a pace and that's their offensive game," Houston coach Kevin McHale said. "We were fighting like crazy to stay in it, but they were chasing the ball and really playing hard. We couldn't get enough stops to get out and run."

The Grizzlies succeeded early and often at their two objectives - get into their offensive sets quickly and shut down Rockets' guard James Harden.

"We have patience (offensively), but with a good pace," said Gasol, playing with a torn abdominal muscle. "We've got to do a better job with that, especially in the fourth quarter when games tend to slow down a bit."

By the fourth quarter, though, Harden, the NBA's fifth leading scorer, was done, as were the rest of the starters.

Allen, considered one of the league's top perimeter defenders, held Harden to seven points (all in the first half) on 3-for-9 shooting spread over almost 27 minutes.

"I'm a lockdown defender, but I don't want to take all trhe credit," Allen said. "I credit our bigs for helping me on pick-and-rolls, and Mike (Conley) and Tay (Tayshaun Prince) would help when he was trying to drive. We just tried to keep him off the free throw line."

Notes: The victory was the Grizzlies' 11th straight home win, tying the second longest home winning streak in franchise history. After a Saturday game at Minnesota, Memphis is back at home on Monday night vs. the Western Conference-leading Spurs. . .Harden's seven points were just his second single-digit scoring game this season. He scored six points Nov. 19 at Utah. . . Bayless, who scored 14 points off the bench, is averaging 19 points and 3.2 rebounds in his last six games. . .Aaron Brooks' 10 points were the first double digit scoring game this season for the Rockets' reserve guard. . .Memphis is 22-1 this year when scoring at least 100 points. . .Friday's game was the fifth home sellout this year, and the Grizzlies are 5-0 in sellouts. . .Randolph's had his 41st double-double of the year. He hadn't had a 20-point game since Feb. 27 vs. Dallas. . .Hollins said he had to put his starters back in Friday's game for the final 9:23 to secure the win, and they stayed in the game until there were 90 seconds left. "At some point, I'm going to cut back minutes (for the starters since the playoffs are just a few weeks away), but it's a dogfight," Hollins said. "I wasn't taking out my starters until I was sure I had a win. I never want to take guys out and lose a game because I took them out too early."
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Basketball
View Comments (1)