Jackson scores 32 as Bobcats hold off Grizzlies
Jackson scored 32 points and grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds, helping the Bobcats withstand a fourth-quarter rally and defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 93-89 on Friday night.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for Charlotte and prevented the Bobcats from going winless as they head home.
“I think we played with a sense of urgency,” Jackson said. “We knew we needed this game before we went back home. Everybody played well, even the bench guys.”
Zach Randolph(notes) led the Grizzlies with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Rudy Gay(notes) added 20 points, O.J. Mayo(notes) 14 and Mike Conley(notes) 13, including 11 in the fourth quarter as the Grizzlies erased an eight-point Charlotte lead.
The loss was the Grizzlies’ sixth in a row at home, and the first of the season against a sub-.500 team. Charlotte is 28-29, and a half-game behind Miami for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
“My thing is getting us to the playoffs,” said Gerald Wallace(notes), who had 10 points and eight rebounds. “We’re more focused on getting there. It’s our first berth (in franchise history), and we’ve got a good chance. We let some games slip away that we should have won. We’re back in the fight.”
The Bobcats broke open a close game with a 14-2 run spanning the third and fourth periods to build their biggest lead at 77-68. Thomas had eight points in the rally.
Memphis responded with a rush that included consecutive 3-pointers from Conley. His third from long-range completed the comeback, giving Memphis an 85-84 lead with 4:21 left.
Then the lead changes began again, until Jackson’s 3-pointer gave Charlotte the lead for good at 88-87 with 3:17 left. The Bobcats have won four straight in the series.
“Early in the fourth, we were trying to get the ball moving a little bit, get in transition,” Conley said. “We got a lot of open looks. When we get open looks, we make a lot of good shots.
“We wanted to continue doing that, but down the stretch, we couldn’t stop them on defense.”
Memphis, the league leader in points in the paint, couldn’t capitalize on the Bobcats’ shortcomings, Charlotte eventually outscoring Memphis 44-40 inside for the game.
“A lot of guys think twice now before going to the rim,” Charlotte coach Larry Brown said of the Bobcats’ interior defense.
Jackson scored 13 before the break and Diaw hit his first five shots for 12 points, helping Charlotte hold a 48-47 lead at the break. Mayo had 12 for Memphis, and Gay scored 11.
Memphis would end the night with 20 turnovers, leading to 28 Charlotte points.
“The turnovers were a big part of the game,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. “It wasn’t just the turnovers, but the 28 points they scored off of turnovers.
“The turnovers were huge.”
The game stayed close in the second half. Randolph was getting off shots inside, and Gay was scoring from the outside.
For the Bobcats, Jackson continued to fire away, using his 6-foot-8 height over the shorter Mayo. Jackson had nine points in the third, and the Bobcats scored the last six points of the period, helping Charlotte hold a 69-66 lead entering the fourth.
“He’s a great player,” said Mayo, who gave away 4 inches to Jackson. “One of the biggest two guards in the league, and he made plays on me.”
NOTES: Mohammed missed his third game with back spasms. Chandler was down for the fifth straight with a left foot injury. … Memphis G Jamaal Tinsley(notes) was inactive with a sore left hamstring. With Tinsley hurt, the Grizzlies delayed sending rookie G Lester Hudson(notes) to the Dakota Wizards of the D-League. Hudson’s transfer to the Wizards was expected Thursday when the team sent C Hasheem Thabeet(notes), the second pick in last summer’s draft, to Dakota. “We’ll keep (Hudson) for a couple of days, so we won’t be down to 10 players and two point guards,” Hollins said. “So, we’re going to keep Lester through Sunday and see what happens.” … Memphis was 8-0 against teams under .500 before losing to Charlotte. … The six-game home losing streak is the longest of the season for Memphis. … Jackson’s double-double was his first of the season. His last was against New Orleans on March 22, 2009, when he was with Golden State.
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