MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Memphis Grizzlies are headed into
their Christmas break with a new feeling of success and a three-game winning streak.
Zach Randolph scored a season-high 33 points and grabbed 18
rebounds, and Memphis withstood Golden State's strong start to beat the slumping Warriors 121-108 on Tuesday night.
Memphis (13-15) has won 12 of 19 after a 1-8 start. The Grizzlies didn't win their 13th game last season until their 48th game, on Feb. 4.
"It's good for us because last year we didn't get a lot of wins in December," O.J. Mayo said. "Right now, we are rolling. It shows improvement from our team, and I think everyone is happy going into the holidays."
Mayo and Marc Gasol added 22 points apiece as Memphis won its third straight. Rudy Gay had 16 points and Mike Conley finished with 11 points and six assists.
The Grizzlies, who lead the NBA in points in the paint, outscored the Warriors down low 72-48.
"It just feels good," Gay said. "We're on a roll. Everybody is pretty much flowing as a team. (Randolph) is going for us.
Basically, our frontcourt is dominating."
Corey Maggette had 25 points and Monta Ellis 23 to lead the
Warriors, who shot 85 percent in the first quarter but lost their
sixth straight. Chris Hunter and Stephen Curry scored 14 apiece,
with Curry adding eight assists and seven rebounds.
Anthony Morrow scored 11 for the Warriors and Anthony Randolph added 10.
"Memphis really played well. They put together quite a team,"
Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "That's the way you want your team to play. Coach (Lionel) Hollins has done an outstanding job here putting this team together. He has them playing winning basketball."
Memphis built a 20-point lead early in the fourth quarter and
almost took its holiday break too early. Consecutive 3-pointers
from Vladimir Radmanovic and Curry, then six straight points from Ellis, pulled Golden State to 104-97 with 5:32 left. But the
Warriors got no closer.
The Warriors were short-handed, dressing only nine players.
Kelenna Azubuike, Raja Bell, Brandan Wright and Speedy Claxton were on the inactive list. Andris Biedrins and Ronny Turiaf were on the bench in street clothes, and Mikki Moore recently had surgery for bone spurs in his right heel.
Golden State built an early nine-point lead but couldn't hold
the advantage as Memphis led 68-58 at halftime.
"The bottom line is we couldn't sustain our play," Nelson said.
Memphis was able to erase the Warriors' lead in the second
quarter by allowing Randolph to work inside.
Randolph had 21 points and 10 rebounds at the break for Memphis, including 17 points in the second quarter. Mayo had 11 and Gasol 10 in the half.
Maggette led the Warriors with 14 while Randolph added 10, both missing just one shot in the half.
Golden State was perfect on its first 10 shots to build its early lead. The margin could have been larger, except that while
the Warriors couldn't miss from the field, they were 2 of 6 from
the free throw line.
The Warriors' first miss from the field came with 5:09 left in the first as Curry misfired on Golden State's initial 3-point attempt.
The Warriors ended the quarter missing three of their 20 shots
for 85 percent, but still only led by six.
"We had to regroup," Randolph said. "We just had to get defensive stops. As a team, they got out in transition, so we had
to get back."
Not only did the Warriors fail to put any distance between themselves and the Grizzlies, but Ellis, Golden State's leading
scorer, picked up his third foul with 3:41 left in the first quarter, sending him to the bench.
"It is what it is," Ellis said of the foul problems. "It's nothing I have to change. My play just wasn't there."
Gay, the Grizzlies' leading scorer, left 23 seconds later with his third foul.
The Warriors continued to play hard and got the Memphis lead to single digits on a number of occasions in the third period. Ellis, with some help from Maggette and Hunter, were the offensive keys.
But Memphis closed the quarter with nine unanswered points, carrying a 97-79 lead into the fourth.
NOTES: Hunter started his second game of the season. He was
called up from the NBDL and signed to a free-agent contract Nov. 20. Nelson got a technical in the second quarter, when he leapt off the bench and onto the floor arguing an offensive foul against Ellis, his fourth before halftime. ... The game was the nightcap of a doubleheader at the FedExForum. The University of Memphis defeated Southeast Missouri State 87-57 on Tuesday afternoon. ... The 38 points in the first quarter were the most by Golden State in the opening period this season. ... The Grizzlies are 5-0 at home against teams with losing records.
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