Hornets 91, Grizzlies 83By The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sun, Jan 27, 2013 8:40 PM EST
MEMPHIS -- The New Orleans Hornets packed a lot of luggage for a five-game road trip. Good thing they didn't forget to bring Ryan Anderson and Jason Smith. The two reserves combined for 15 of the Hornets' 27 points in the final quarter, hitting key shots in the final three minutes to propel New Orleans to a 91-83 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday at FedExForum. Anderson finished with a game-high 22 points, hitting seven of 13 3-pointers, four more 3s than the Grizzlies had as a team. Memphis shot 3-for-14 from long range. Smith scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds. With Anderson and Smith helping the Hornets bench amass 51 points, New Orleans was able to overcome getting just 40 points from its starters. All-Star forward Zach Randolph had his league-leading 28th double-double of the season for the Grizzlies (28-15), finishing with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Marc Gasol added 14 points and 11 rebounds, but the three other Grizzlies starters combined for 19 points on 6-of-27 shooting. The Grizzlies strained for offense after starting point guard Mike Conley sprained his left ankle in the first quarter. He didn't return to action. Neither team had more than a four-point lead in the opening quarter. Memphis got a brief boost when rookie point guard Tony Wroten replaced Conley and contributed four assists in his first seven minutes. But the Hornets, 2-10 on the road this season against Western Conference teams, battled back. Anderson, who averages 16.9 points off the bench because of his steady 3-point shooting, drilled in three straight 3-pointers in the final 3:22 of the opening period, rallying New Orleans to a 24-23 lead. The Hornets (15-29) extended their advantage to 32-23 less than two minutes into the second quarter. But two 3-pointers from Chris Johnson, playing on a 10-day contract for the Grizzlies, got the home team started back in a positive direction. Anderson finally cooled, and the Grizzlies started going to their strength inside. Randolph finished a 10-point first half with a dunk that gave Memphis a 45-43 edge at the break. It was just as close entering the final period, with the Grizzlies leading 68-64. Neither team got lengthy runs, and most of the action centered on Randolph's matchup with rookie Anthony Davis, who finished with 10 points and six rebounds. NOTES: All of Memphis is abuzz over Grizzlies rookie guard Wroten, who had two highlight dunks in the previous two games since getting more playing time because of Memphis' three-player trade last Tuesday. The one person not going crazy over Wroten is Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, who has a more realistic view of Wroten. "He's horrible on defense and has no outside shot," said Hollins, who proceeded to list Wroten's weaknesses. Of course, just a couple of seasons ago, Hollins wasn't enamored with then-rookie point guard Greivis Vasquez, whom the Grizzlies traded to the Hornets last season. Vasquez now starts for the Hornets, and is averaging 14 points, 4.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists, all better numbers than those of Memphis' starting point guard, Conley. ... The Grizzlies, despite back-to-back blowouts over the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday and Friday, need more offense from forward Rudy Gay, who's in a shooting slump. In the previous five games before Sunday, Gay averaged 13.2 points on 36 percent field-goal accuracy. He scored 10 points against the Hornets.
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