8:00 PM ET, January 16, 2010
FedExForum, Memphis, TN
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A late rally couldn't stop the Memphis Grizzlies from a franchise record for consecutive home wins.
"When they look at the record book next year or whenever, somebody will say that [Memphis won eight straight at home]," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. "Right now, we want to win. Don't get me wrong, but I don't know from eight, seven straight and all of that.
"We're trying to establish ourselves as a quality team in this league."
Mason keyed the late comeback with a pair of 3-pointers, part of a 12-0 run. His 20-footer cut the Memphis lead to 87-86 with 41 seconds remaining, but Randolph hit five of his six free throws in the final 51 seconds as Memphis won for the fourth time in five games.
"I think we turned our intensity up," Mason said. "I got some good looks, and we were able to make a run. The biggest thing is, we were making stops, and we were able to get out on the break. Our defensive intensity was turned up, all the way up."
Duncan connected on 11 of 17 from the field, but took only one shot in the fourth quarter.
Richard Jefferson, who averages 13 points, had three and was 0 for 6 from the field, the first time he has not recorded a made basket in a game since playing 2 minutes on Jan. 8, 2006, for the New Jersey Nets.
"Just a bad game for us that we fought back into, and just couldn't get over the top," Duncan said.
San Antonio, which trailed by as many as 14 in the second half, turned up the defensive pressure in the final period but could never overtake Memphis, which snapped a five-game losing streak to the Spurs.
"We're maturing. We're getting better, but we can get a lot better," Gasol said. "We got up 14, and they almost came back and won the game, so we can get better."
San Antonio took an early lead behind accurate shooting. Duncan hit his first five shots and had 13 first-half points, all in the opening quarter.
Memphis, coming off a 135-110 victory Friday over Minnesota, seemed sluggish at the outset, but the Grizzlies were matching San Antonio inside, and the game eventually settled into a physical contest.
San Antonio's biggest troubles came in the second quarter. The Grizzlies overtook the Spurs with a 14-3 run in the middle stages of the period. Mayo's layup in the closing seconds of the half gave the Grizzlies a 52-42 lead at the break as Gasol had 11 points.
"That put us in the hole," Duncan said of the second period, when Memphis outscored the Spurs 28-15. "They were aggressive. They were hitting shots and getting offensive rebounds. We were turning the ball over. We did just about everything we could to shoot ourselves in the foot."
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich added: "We were soft, and it put us in a hole that took us the whole [second] half to try and recover from."
Memphis stretched the margin to 14 in the third, as Duncan was the only one helping San Antonio stay within striking distance. Duncan scored 10 in the third period, and San Antonio cut the deficit under double digits a couple of times late in the quarter before Memphis carried a 75-65 lead into the fourth.
"The Grizzlies did a good job," Popovich said. "They pressured and denied. They were aggressive and physical."
It's enough confidence to invoke a word many never expected them to use this season.
"This is what the playoffs is all about," Hollins said, "and we can do that -- whenever we are going to do it. I'm positive we're going to do it one time."
San Antonio had not lost to Memphis since Dec. 19, 2007. ... Spurs reserve F/C Antonio McDyess missed only his second game of the season, sitting out with neck and back spasms. His injury probably assured Duncan of playing against the Grizzlies. The Spurs, at times, have chosen to sit Duncan on the second game of back-to-backs "to put some insurance in the bank" for later in the season, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said in pregame comments, adding that Duncan "wanted to play." ... Spurs rookie F DeJuan Blair and Grizzlies reserve F Sam Young both played last season at Pittsburgh and were chosen with consecutive picks in the draft -- Young 36th and Blair 37th. ... After starting 1-8, Memphis has won 20 of its last 30. Memphis is 14-5 at home.
MEMPHIS, TN - JANUARY 16: O.J. Mayo #32 of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots around Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio...(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||36-87 (.414)||36-83 (.434)|
|3PM-3PA||7-21 (.333)||3-9 (.333)|
|FTM-FTA||7-12 (.583)||17-27 (.630)|
|Fast Break Points||16||21|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||23 (0/0)||15 (0/0)|
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