Grizzlies coast to win over Warriors
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)
After a bumpy start, the Memphis Grizzlies finally re-established their identity.
The Grizzlies pounded the ball inside, used defense to their advantage and benefited from balanced scoring to beat the Golden State Warriors 108-90 on Saturday night.
"It's good to finally have our identity and get a good win," said guard Mike Conley, who had 20 points and six assists. "(The Warriors) are a very good team, very talented. For us to execute our game plan and get the ball down to Zach (Randolph) and Marc (Gasol), those guys really try to take advantage of it. When they do, we're a very good team."
Randolph had 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead six Memphis players in double figures. Randolph returned after leaving Wednesday night's game against New Orleans when his fiancee went into labor. Zachary Jr. was born before the end of that game.
"It's been a great week, especially tonight after we got this win," Randolph said. "We've just got to come out and play like this every game."
Gasol had 18 points and Memphis won its 10th straight over the Warriors. Mike Miller finished with 15 points, connecting on all but one of his five shots from beyond the 3-point arc.
Stephen Curry, who returned after missing Friday night's loss at San Antonio with a bruised left ankle, led the Warriors with 22 points. Andre Iguodala had 19 points, hitting 8 of 10 shots. David Lee finished with 13 points and nine rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Klay Thompson scored 10 of his 12 points in the third quarter for the Warriors.
"We gave up a lot of paint scores, and our defense and rebounding wasn't very good," Thompson said.
Memphis dominated the inside game all night with a 54-18 advantage in the paint, outrebounding the Warriors 44-33. The Grizzlies shot 53 percent for the game, far above the 39 percent the Warriors have allowed opponents to shoot.
The performance soothed grumbling from Grizzlies fans, who thought the team had lost a bit of its defensive edge and inside presence in a 2-3 start.
Memphis coach Dave Joerger saw improvement, but wasn't ready to declare everything perfect.
"I don't think we're fixed," Joerger said. "I don't think it's as broken as people think it was last week. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that all is well in the world of Grizzlies basketball. I (feel) like we're going in the right direction."
Memphis' intent was evident early. The Grizzlies went to Randolph the first time down the floor and kept passing to him. Randolph had 14 points in the first half.
"Zach is a guy that can score on anybody, and when he gets it going, he's a handful," Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. "He got it going and made it tough for us."
Meanwhile, Curry was showing little effect of the ankle injury with 17 first-half points.
The two teams stayed close early in the third period. Memphis connected on eight of its first nine shots in the period, but Thompson kept the Warriors in the game.
Memphis continued to extend the lead, eventually reaching 14 and helping the Grizzlies carry a 90-77 lead into the final frame.
"(Zach Randolph) got it going a little bit, and then Mike Miller hit some threes," Iguodala said. "They kind of had it spread out all over the place, and we just couldn't contain them."
Memphis eventually opened the advantage to 23 points in the fourth quarter, and about that point, Lee had fouled out, and Jackson began emptying the bench.
"We didn't execute," Jackson said. "They were the more physical team, and it's just a disappointing loss for us."
NOTES: Golden State's last win overall in the series was Nov. 3, 2010. The Warriors have not won in Memphis since April 4, 2008, a span of nine straight losses. ... Saturday's game capped a four-game road trip for the Warriors, who head home 2-2. ... For the first time this season, Memphis held the lead going into the fourth quarter.