The Memphis Grizzlies dominated the Los Angeles Clippers from start to finish.
Memphis benefited from poor early shooting by Los Angeles, controlled the Clippers' top scorers - Corey Maggette and Elton Brand - and built an early lead before coasting to a 96-76 victory on Monday night.
"That was the way to do it," said Pau Gasol, who led the Grizzlies with 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds. "We have to do that more often at home."
Gasol, who had 18 points in the first half, shot 9-of-13 from the field, and reserve Bonzi Wells added 18 points for Memphis, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
Maggette led the Clippers with 14 points, but shot just 3-of-15 from the field. Chris Wilcox had 12 points, while Bobby Simmons finished with 11.
Memphis led by as many as 23 in the fourth period and sent the Clippers to their seventh loss in eight games. Along with Maggette's problems, Elton Brand was held to eight points on 1-of-7 shooting.
"You don't have to say much more about the way we played - just look at the stat sheet," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We were 4-of-22 and we got nine turnovers from our top two. Anybody who does that is going to have a real tough time winning a ballgame."
The game was part of a back-to-back set for the Clippers, who lost Sunday at Houston and are dealing with injuries.
"We just really need to come together as a team, without the coaches, and decide what we want to do," Maggette said. "Are we going to (give up) or are we going to try? It's not one single thing. There's a lot of things we need to work on.
"When you are winning, you don't see it. But when you've losing, you see a lot of stuff."
The Clippers, who never led, struggled from the floor early. They made only five of their 18 first-quarter shots and turned the ball over seven times in falling behind 29-12.
Meanwhile, Gasol barely missed - connecting on seven of eight shots in the first half and leading the Grizzlies to a 51-40 halftime lead.
"We've been getting a 15- to 16-point lead, then letting teams chip away and chip away and make a game out of it," Wells said of the Grizzlies' early season struggles. "We have to learn to play a full 48 minutes together, and when we've got a team down, stomp on the back of their necks and keep them down."
Memphis led by as many as 19 in the first half and maintained a 15- to 19-point advantage through much of the second period. The Clippers scored the last eight points of the half to cut Memphis' lead to 11.
The Grizzlies increased the lead to 20 after back-to-back 3-pointers by Jason Williams and Mike Miller midway through the third and carried a 75-55 lead into the final period.
The defensive effort was a major factor in the team's first playoff appearance last season.
"We've been playing better team defense, and that is what made us very successful," Gasol said. "We were successful and won so many games last year because of our defense and stopping teams on runs. We're going to try and work on our defense a little more and be a little stronger." previous low was 14 against Memphis on Dec. 19. ... The Grizzlies are 4-0 vs. Los Angeles teams this season. ... Kirk Penney, signed by the Clippers earlier this week, scored his first points of the season on a 15-foot jumper in the fourth. ... Memphis F Shane Battier was instrumental in holding Brand, his former roommate at Duke, to 10 points under his 18.7 scoring average. "Hopefully I got him back for waking me up all those times in the middle of the night," Battier said.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that point guard Antonio Burks will miss the next 6 - 8 weeks due to a fractured right pinkie finger sustained in the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Burks will undergo surgery on the finger tomorrow at the Campbell Clinic.
Burks started the season on the injured list but was activated on December 7 and played five games, averaging 4.6 ppg and 2.4 apg in 13.0 minutes per game. Last night against Cleveland, he had a career-high seven points on perfect 3-3 shooting from the field, along with three assists and only one turnover. He had a career-high six assists in his NBA debut on Dec. 7 vs. New York.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
The 33-year basketball coaching career of Hubie Brown came to a close Thursday. On Friday, he addressed the media about his decision.
Memphis Grizzlies president of basketball operations Jerry West announced that Brown was retiring Thursday and that assistant Lionel Hollins has been named the team's interim coach.
"Since we started in October and then as we started the season I've had things come up," Brown said. "You're body gives you a warning sign and you'll see, but until you get up there you're not going to understand it. For guys like me the medical stuff is private."
"Obviously this is not something we had planned," West said. "For me, this is not a good day, and I don't think a good day for our franchise. But hopefully the start of something new and exciting in Hubie's life."
Brown, 71, became the sixth coach in Grizzlies history on November 12, 2002 and immediately reversed the fortunes of the franchise. In his first full season with Memphis in 2003-04, Brown earned NBA Coach of the Year honors leading the Grizzlies to a 50-win season and their first playoff appearance.
"Just off the top, I would just like to say this. I'm tremendously indebted to Mr. Heisley and to Jerry because they had faith that we could do this," Brown said. "They had to be courageous to bring someone back at 69 years of age. Then you feel a great indebtedness to them because they had that confidence to do this."
Brought in by West to teach a young and inexperienced team, Brown was criticized by some who felt he was too old to deal with today's NBA player and was out for the game for too long.
The second-guessing was unwarranted as Brown turned in what may be regarded as his best coaching job while with the Grizzlies.
"To have a chance to work with a man of this caliber and this integrity is something that I will cherish when I'm gone from this league," West said. "I think the organization is so much better off from having a man who is this committed to bringing excellence to a franchise that had little or no success."
Brown coached 15 seasons in the NBA, leading the New York Knicks to the playoffs twice in five seasons and the Atlanta Hawks to three postseason appearances in five years. Brown also won an ABA championship in 1975 with the Kentucky Colonels.
"I need on a daily basis an energy and stamina, and then with me it's a spirit," Brown said. "They're the things that drive me into the passion that you have for your game. The spirit is what gives you passion on a daily basis. Well, one day you wake up and you don't have that, and that's when you've got to understand that it's the time that you've got to walk."
I hope this keeps up. I am sad that a legend has retired but they have to move on. Lets keep up the streak Grizzlies!
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Hobbled by a sprained right foot, James Posey will miss at least the next five games.
The Memphis Grizzlies placed the veteran forward on the injured list Friday.
Posey had missed Memphis' last two games Tuesday against Houston and Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers due to the foot injury. He averaged 3.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22.7 minutes over the first three games.
Known for his strong defensive play, Posey averaged a career-high 13.7 points for the Grizzlies last season.
The Grizzlies also activated second-year forward Ryan Humphrey, who has been on the injured list since the start of the season. He averaged 1.0 points and 1.5 rebounds with Memphis in 2003-04.
With Posey injured, it will be harder for us to make a run up the standings. Lets keep up the good work you guys, and rally to the top!
Monday, November 01, 2004
GREEN BAY, Wis., Oct. 28 (Ticker) -- The Memphis Grizzlies ended their preseason schedule in fine fashion.Stromile Swift scored 24 points as the Grizzlies led most of the way en route to a 99-92 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Memphis, which was 37-of-47 from the line, finished its exhibition season with four wins in their last five games and 6-2 overall. It opens the regular season Wednesday vs. Washington.
Swift, whose scoring average has dropped in each of the last two seasons with the Grizzlies, posted his preseason high and reached double figures for the fifth time. He was 8-of-12 from the field and had four blocked shots.
After a pair of free throws by Joe Smith gave Milwaukee a one-point lead with just over two minutes left, Troy Bell hit a 20-footer and Brian Cardinal made two from the line for a 95-92 lead.
Earl Watson added 12 points and 12 assists for the Grizzlies, who opened a 55-45 halftime lead.
Michael Redd scored 20 points for the Bucks (4-4), who erased an 18-point deficit but lost for the third time in four outings. Erick Strickland added 18 points for Milwaukee.
The Bucks visit Orlando in their season opener Wednesday.