MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Jason Williams came out of the dressing
room after halftime shooting the ball.
Memphis guard Jason Williams had a career-high 38 points on Friday.
Williams ignited a third-quarter rally and scored a career-high
38 points Friday night to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 102-85
victory over the Houston Rockets.
Williams scored 18 points in the third, shooting 7-of-9 from the
field, including 4-for-4 from 3-point range. He finished 16-of-28
from the field, including 6-of-13 from long range. He also had 11
"I was taking open shots when I had them, and I knocked them
down," Williams said.
"We were looking for him to score more, but we were not
expecting him to score 38," Memphis coach Sidney Lowe said. "But
we will take it every night."
The win, the Grizzlies third of the season, all at home, was the
first blowout for Memphis. Houston, meanwhile, lost its fourth in a
Williams led four Memphis starters in double figures. Shane
Battier added 18, while Pau Gasol finished with 17. Lorenzen Wright
scored 10 and grabbed nine rebounds.
"We tried to get the ball out of his hands," Houston coach
Rudy Tomjanovich said of Williams. "Whenever we missed a shot, he
would sting us for another two or three points. We'd try to double
Jason and then someone else stepped up and made shots."
The teams were tied at 41 at the half as Williams scored 13
points for the Grizzlies before the break, while handing out six
assists and committing one turnover.
Williams' steal and drive with less than a second left in the
second period sent the teams to the dressing room deadlocked.
Thomas led the Rockets during the first half with 10 points.
Williams remained hot to open the second half, scoring 15 points
in the first seven-plus minutes of the third as Memphis opened a
Eventually, Grizzlies built the advantage to 75-58 after three.
"When someone gets going like that, you try to change the
defense to slow him down," Willis said of Williams' shooting.
"When he is in a groove, there is no answer."
Houston whittled away at the Grizzlies lead in the early part of
the fourth, but never got it below double digits.
"Our defense picked up in the second half, and we ended up
holding (Houston) to 40-percent shooting," Lowe said. "They are a
team that certainly has a lot of players that can put points on the
board and our guys really got to the ball."
Game notes Mobley did not play because of a sprained left ankle. ...
Francis was sidelined with a ruptured plantar fascia on his left
foot. ... With Mobley and Francis, the Rockets' leading scorer and
second-leading rebounder, out, the Rockets lost an average of 38
points, 13 rebounds and almost nine assists. ... Houston is 3-7
all-time when Francis does not play. ... Stromile Swift, the
Grizzlies' second-leading rebounder, missed his fifth consecutive
game with a hyperextended elbow. ... Battier, who was 7-of-13 from
the field, has hit 34 of 60 shots in the last five games, including
9-of-15 from 3-point range. ... Williams scored 28 against
Milwaukee in 1999 when he was with Sacramento.