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Randolph, Grizzlies have a Garden party

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Since the Memphis Grizzlies lost big man Marc Gasol to an MCL knee sprain a month ago, much of the scoring and rebounding burden has been directed to Zach Randolph.

The 13-year veteran power forward delivered his 15th double-double of the season, scoring 25 points and hauling down 15 rebounds in the Grizzlies' 95-87 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

The double-double was Randolph's fifth since Gasol was injured nine games ago on Nov. 22. Memphis is 8-1 when Randolph leads or shares the lead in scoring.

The victory halted a five-game Memphis (11-15) losing streak. The Grizzlies' previous victory came on Dec. 9 against Orlando.

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks (8-18) in scoring for the 26th time in as many games, scoring 30 points. That's the longest such streak in the NBA since the 1972-73 season, when Nate "Tiny" Archibald accomplished the feat for the defunct Kansas City-Omaha Kings.

Knicks rookie guard Tim Hardaway Jr. posted 16 minutes in a career-high 30 minutes.

Shooting guard Tony Allen scored 19 points for Memphis.

The Knicks' home problems continued. New York is 4-10 at Madison Square Garden after going 50-10 at home last season.

The Knicks were on the wrong end of a weekend matinee loss for the third time season. San Antonio dropped New York, 120-89, on Nov. 10, and Boston won, 114-73, on Dec. 8.

"I take pride in trying to win at home," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "If we won half of our home games we would be sitting at the top of the (Eastern) conference, the way it is playing out."

New York trails conference leading Boston (12-16) by three games.

The Knicks never led in the second half and Memphis built an 86-64 lead with 6:20 to play in the game.

The Knicks whittled it down to 87-78 with 4:00 left, but baskets by guard Tony Allen and Randolph increased the Memphis lead to 91-78 with 3:00 remaining.

The Knicks used a 9-0 run to close to within 91-87 with 25 seconds to go, but Jerryd Bayless sank two free throws to give Memphis a 93-87 edge with 22 seconds remaining.

Center Tyson Chandler returned to the Knicks for his second game since Nov. 5, when he sustained a non-displaced fracture of his right fibula, scoring seven points, but found it difficult keeping up with Randolph.

Despite having the 7-foot-1 Chandler back on the floor, the Knicks were out-rebounded, 56-29 and out-scored 60-28 in the paint.

"Tyson is one of the best hitters in the game," Randolph said about a personal rivalry that dates to when they were high school all-stars. "He's a champion. I have a lot of respect for him, going all the way back to Nike Camp."

The 6-9, 260-pound Randolph was particularly effective in getting to the rim and converted 7-of-10 free throws.

"I've been trying to be a lot more aggressive the past couple of games down there," Randolph said of his play in the low post. "There's been a lot more focus on me packing the paint, so tonight I was hoping I could operate a little more down there.

"With him (Gasol) out, they're double-teaming me. I got a guy on my lap and a guy behind me. I have to pick my spots."

The Knicks didn't have an answer for Randolph in the third quarter. He led the Grizzlies with 11 points and seven rebounds as Memphis increased its lead to 72-61.

Randolph was bullish in the low post during the second quarter. The 12-year veteran from Michigan State muscled his way for seven points to help the Grizzlies grab a 50-40 halftime advantage.

"When Zach is that aggressive, we all feed off of that and it opens up shots for guys," Memphis coach David Joerger said. "He's a high flyer."

New York sank only 6-of-18 shots from the floor in the second quarter.

The Grizzlies controlled the boards in the first quarter and led, 25-22, after one. Memphis out-rebounded the Knicks, 14-6, in the quarter.

Anthony scored 10 points in the quarter.

NOTES: Memphis F Zach Randolph's 373 career double-doubles rank 10th among active players and his 178 double-doubles with Memphis are second in franchise history. ... The Knicks were without G Raymond Felton (strained hamstring), F Kenyon Martin (strained abdominal muscle), G Pablo Prigioni (fractured toe) and F Metta World Peace (sore knee). ... Beno Udrih made his third start at point guard for the Knicks. ... Memphis PG Mike Conley ranks eighth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.27). ... C Marc Gasol missed his 13th straight game for the Grizzlies because of a left knee sprain.
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