Wizards 107, Grizzlies 94

Benjamin Standig, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- John Wall scored a career-high 47 points with eight assists, and the short-handed Washington Wizards upended the Memphis Grizzlies 107-94 on Monday night.
The Wizards needed nearly every point, assist and minute of playing time Wall could muster, because they were without three starters and had only nine active players.
The third-year point guard delivered, sinking 19 of 24 free throws while establishing a personal best with 26 points before halftime. During his 44 minutes of action, Wall also grabbed seven rebounds and made 13 of 22 shots, including two 3-pointers..
Emeka Okafor had 21 points and Chris Singleton 10 for the Wizards (26-44), who have won six straight home games and split the season series with the Grizzlies. Since Wall returned to the lineup on Jan. 12, Washington is 21-16.
Mike Conley Jr. led the Grizzlies (47-23) with 23 points, but did score in the fourth quarter. Jerryd Bayless scored eight of his 14 points during Memphis' late rally, and his jumper trimmed the Wizards' lead to 98-94 with 1:54 remaining. Okafor countered with a jump hook and Washington made four of its final five free throws.
Wall capped the scoring with a 3-pointer as the home crowd of 17,868 chanted "M-V-P." The Wizards became only the 10th team to score at least 100 points against the Grizzlies this season, dropping Memphis' record in such games to 3-7.
Washington played without starters Nene (knee soreness), Martell Webster (abdomen strain), and Bradley Beal (sprained left ankle), who has missed three straight games and nine this month. Wall and Garrett Temple were the only true guards available for the Wizards.
The game was tied 55-all at halftime, and the Wizards held a 82-80 lead with less than nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter when Wall assisted on Cartier Martin's 3-pointer, starting a 13-3 run. Wall made five free throws and a fadeaway jumper in the spurt to give Washington a 96-83 lead with 3:48 remaining.
Quincy Pondexter also scored 14 points and Zach Randolph had 10 for the Grizzlies, who have lost four straight road games.
Wall flashed his improved perimeter shooting by knocking down five jumpers in the first quarter for the Wizards, who led 23-16 when the point guard sat with 1:43 remaining. By the time Wall returned nearly four minutes later, the Grizzlies had pulled in front following a 16-3 spurt.
With Washington down 39-30, Wall quickly returned to point-producing mode. He scored 14 of the Wizards' final 25 points of the half with an array of jumpers and drives, finishing 9-of-13 from the floor. Conley's buzzer-beating 3-pointer sent the two teams into the locker room tied at 55-55.
NOTES: Washington also played without Trevor Ariza (flu) and A.J. Price (sore right groin). Forwards Chris Singleton and Trevor Booker made their 10th and ninth starts of the season, respectively. ... The Grizzlies still need one more road win to establish a franchise record with 20. Memphis is poised to post a winning road record for the first time in franchise history. ... Plagued by injuries throughout his career, Webster has played in 66 of 68 games for the Wizards this season. The small forward began the night averaging 11.6 points and was fourth in the NBA with a 44.0 percent success rate on 3-point attempts. ... Memphis won the previous meeting at home 85-76 on Feb. 1. ... The Wizards head back on the road for games against the Oklahoma City Thunder (Wednesday) and Orlando Magic (Friday). The Grizzlies play the Knicks in New York on Wednesday.

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