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Grizzlies post 108-90 win over Warriors

The SportsXchange

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Although the Memphis Grizzlies won 56 games last season and made a deep playoff run, they spent the first five games of this season under first-year coach Dave Joerger in search mode. As they tried to get into their offensive sets quicker, their turnovers went up and their continuity went down.

The Grizzlies had made their reputation -- and their success -- on defense and by pounding the ball in the post to power forward Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol. There was much less of each in a lackluster 2-3 start.

But Saturday night at FedExForum, the Grizzlies looked in the mirror and recognized the reflection staring at back them in a 108-90 victory over the Golden State Warriors that included an overwhelming 54-18 advantage on points in the paint, a double-double from Randolph -- 23 points and 11 rebounds -- and 18 points, seven boards and three blocks from Gasol.

"At the end of the day, you still go back to your horses," said Memphis point guard Mike Conley, who finished with 20 points and six assists.

Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson said, "They're tough. I think that's why they made it to the Western Conference Finals last year."

The Warriors (4-3) lost to the Grizzlies for the 10th straight time. They have not defeated the Grizzlies (3-3) in three years -- or since Nov. 3, 2010, at Golden State.

The Warriors came in shooting 45.1 percent from behind the arc, the second-best mark in the NBA. They hit 10 of 29 for 34.5 percent against Memphis. They also were on the second night of a back-to-back -- they lost in San Antonio on Friday when point guard Stephen Curry did not play because of a sore ankle.

"This is a good basketball team that has pretty much had its way against us," Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. "We've got to figure them out."

Curry led the Warriors with 22 points, including 4-of-10 3-point shooting. Swingman Andre Iguodala finished with 19 points and power forward David Lee scored 13 before fouling out with 8:59 to play. Thompson had 12.

The Warriors were still within striking distance, down 86-77 with 37 seconds left in the third quarter. That's when Memphis went on an 18-5 run that pushed the lead to 22 points with 5:03 left in the game.

"Couldn't get over the hump," Jackson said.

Former NBA Sixth Man of the Year Mike Miller came off the bench to score 15 points (he was 4 of 5 from 3-point range) for the Grizzlies and had nine rebounds and four assists. Joerger shortened his rotation as only eight players played more than five minutes.

"Mike's a very good overall player," Conley said. "People forget that because he was sitting in the corner hitting 3's in Miami for a while."

All five Grizzlies players scored in double figures, including shooting guard Tony Allen (12) and small forward Tayshaun Prince (10).

The Grizzlies had 16 turnovers, but this time they came with 25 assists. Rookie point guard Nick Calathes had five assists off the bench -- along with four turnovers -- and made some passes that Joerger described as "terrific and horrific."

The Grizzlies were the more energetic team from the start and showed the kind of defensive intensity they had in leading the league in forced turnovers for two straight years.

"It's grit and grind," Randolph said. "We feed off our defense."

While Randolph's offense took center stage, Allen was impressed by what he did on the other end, working both in the paint and to prevent clean looks on the outside for the Warriors' shooters.

"I just liked some of his defensive coverage," Allen said.

Thompson called the Warriors' 2-2 road trip "so-so," adding, "We've still got a chance to go home and separate ourselves."

NOTES: Thompson's shooting ability is well-known, but when a reporter asked Jackson during pregame about Thompson showing drastic defensive improvement from last season to this season, Jackson took exception. "Well, I disagree with that," Jackson said. "I thought he was an elite defender last year. He's the guy we put on people all year long, whether it be ones, twos or threes. People fall in love with his ability to shoot the basketball, don't pay as much attention to what he's doing on the other end." ... Going into Saturday night's game, the Grizzlies had beaten Golden State eight straight times in Memphis. The Warriors last won here on April 4, 2008. ... Through five games the Grizzlies had blocked 16 shots, the fewest of any team in the league. ... Grizzlies reserve G Jerryd Bayless was out with right knee sprain.
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