Grizzlies beat Mavs, match largest comeback
FEB 27, 2013 9:10p ET
The Grizzlies dug a huge hole for themselves but stifled the Dallas Mavericks in the third quarter, allowing only five points, in a 90-84 win. Memphis has won eight in a row.
The Mavericks led by as many as 25 points in the first half, scoring10 before Memphis got on the board.
“We don’t mind, but ugly wins are the hardest ones,” Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley said. “They take a lot out of you. We made it too hard on ourselves.”
Memphis set records in the process.
The current streak ties the longest in Memphis’ history and it is the second time the team has done it this season. The five points allowed in the third quarter is a franchise low for opponent points in any quarter and a tie for the fewest scored in any quarter this season (three other times).
The comeback also tied Memphis’ largest comeback in franchise history and is the largest home rally. Dallas turned the ball over 21 times.
Down 51-26, Memphis outscored the Mavs 36-4, a franchise-record 24-0 run included.
A streak will end Friday. Next up for Memphis is a road date at Miami, winners of 12 straight.
“We just worry about one at a time and Miami is enough to worry about,” Conley said.
Memphis (38-18) is soaring after the much-debated trade of leading scorer Rudy Gay, winning 9-of-11. The Grizzlies went 9-2 in February and now look to a March schedule that includes trips to the Clippers, Denver and New York and home games against Oklahoma City, Boston and Houston.
Memphis beat Miami by 18 in November.
“They probably do (remember). Oh well,” Memphis forward Zach Randolph said. “It’s two great teams playing each other. I know they’re going to be ready and we’re going to be ready.”
Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said he saw that something wasn’t right during Tuesday’s practice and took a quick timeout with a 4-0 deficit Wednesday. It got worse. It took the Grizzlies more than 5 minutes to score. Randolph said he was mad when Hollins sat him 4 minutes in.
“I subbed everybody out for a second. Guys were upset at me, but I was upset at them so it didn’t matter,” Hollins said. “If you’ve heard the old cliche that you can’t turn it off and on, we aren’t that talented.We have to be mentally and physically ready.”
Grit-and-grind Memphis chopped away at the lead late in the first half and got a big momentum builder from Darrell Arthur, whose steal on an inbounds pass and dunk just before the halftime buzzer cut Dallas’lead to 13. Jerryd Bayless set it up, using a foul-to-give.
Memphis scored the first 20 points of the third quarter and held Dallas scoreless until O.J. Mayo’s free throw 8 minutes, 9 seconds into the quarter. Mike James’ lay-up with 3:07 left was Dallas’ first field goal, one of only two in the quarter.
“I’ve never seen such a tournaround so quick,” Hollins said. “We had29 deflections. We had 21 assists on 29 field goals.”
It was one of the newbies pitching in early. Austin Daye scored all 10 of his points in the first quarter. It was two regulars doing it again to fuel the comeback. Randolph had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis, his 35th double-double this season. Marc Gasol had 21 points and 12 boards.
Randolph took over the defense on Nowitzki, who scored only two of his10 points in the second half. Memphis took its first lead, 56-55, on Randolph’s driving lay-up. He had 12 points and six rebounds in the third quarter.
Dallas (25-32) went more than 9 minutes without a point. The Mavs shot59 percent in the first half and 27 percent in the second half.
It looked early like the league’s best defense - 89.6 points per game ties Indiana - was going to get blown out at home. Dallas scored 38 points in the first quarter, the most the Grizzlies have allowed all season.
After shooting 75 percent in the first quarter, Memphis held Dallas to32 percent for the final three quarters.
“They’re more locked in defensively with Tayshaun (Prince), same old Memphis team though, grind it out,” said Mayo, who left for Dallas after spending the first four years of his career here.
Shawn Marion’s bucket with 5:30 left was the only field goal by Marion, Nowitzki or Chris Kaman in the second half. Kaman had six points and three rebounds in the first quarter and finished with six points and four rebounds. Marion finished with 16 points. Elton Brand had 12 off the bench.
Marion and Kaman couldn’t miss in the first quarter. It was 14-2 on Marion’s slam and when Gasol clanked one of the back iron, there was a collective groan from the 16,017 inside FedExForum.
It was the second straight turnover-filled game for Dallas, which had20 turnovers in a loss at Milwaukee Tuesday.
“They were all over us...and that’s just too many,” Nowitzki said.“They were ripping every ball and they’re good at it.”
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