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Grizz comeback leaves Dallas feeling ‘punked’

  • Written by Kelley Evans
  • Published in Sports

Grizz-Mike-Conley-600During the first half of their game Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks the Memphis Grizzlies looked and played more like "The Get Along Gang" than the grit-and-grind squad that area fans have come to love.

The FedExForum absorbed 16,041 fans for the game and when it was done, Memphis had defeated Dallas 90-84. The Mavericks made sure the Grizz worked for it.

The Grizzlies did not score a field goal until halfway through the first quarter. Austin Daye scored on a jump shot, adding to Tony Allen's points from free throws. By the end of the first quarter, the Mavericks led 38-19, with Daye's 10 points pacing Memphis.

Grizzlies head Coach Lionel Hollins couldn't get a spark from his core group, so he turned to his bench.

Grizz-Tony-n-OJ-600"After giving up 38 points in the first quarter, we outscored them 71-46, so our defense kicked in," Hollins said. "Also, offensively in the fist half, Austin Daye came in and made a couple of shots to stop the bleeding a little bit."

Dallas scored all eight of its points in the paint in the first quarter.

"You could make all eight of your shots in the paint too if we didn't guard you," Hollins said. "We just didn't guard. We were just out there messing around on penetration, all kinds of things.

"I don't' know what their mindset was coming in, but it wasn't about going out being professional and doing what they were supposed to do and playing the way they are capable of playing all the way to the end."

When Hollins put all his confidence in his bench, some of the Grizzlies starters were anxious to get back in the game, but there was no chance at that point.

Grizz-crowd-600"We came out lackadaisical," Grizzlies guard Tony Allen said. "We played like we had a back-to-back, honestly. Coach wasn't having it. He called a time out quicker than he normally does and gave us another chance to go back out, but we couldn't get it done.

"He brought in the bench and they gave us a spark," Allen said. "From there it was just a grind game all the way."

The Mavericks, losing to the Milwaukee Bucks the night before, were in no mood for games, but they couldn't sustain the pace in the second half.

At halftime, Dallas still led 55-42. Memphis was only 32 percent from the field while Dallas shot 59 percent. The Grizzlies were even out-rebounded. Marc Gasol was the leading scorer with 13 points.

Then there was a turnaround.

The Grizzlies turned to their "grit-and-grind" mantra and scrapped their way back.

In the third quarter, Memphis was 11-of-24 from the field. The Mavericks were 2-of-17 shooting (11 percent). Memphis held Dallas to only five points and out-rebounded them by 11, forcing seven turnovers and ending the quarter 66-60. The Mavericks' five points tied for the fewest points in a quarter this season in the NBA.

By the end of the game the Grizzlies had forced 21 turnovers. Memphis matched a franchise-record for the largest comeback in team history.

Randolph led all scorers with 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, his 25th double-double of the season. Gasol recorded his 12th double-double, with 21 points and 12 rebounds. The Grizzlies are 10-2 when Gasol scores more than 10 points per game.

Shawn Marion led the Mavericks with 16 points.

Marion said the Grizzlies became the aggressors.

"It's hard to get shots when you turn the ball over," said Marion. "They punked us and took the game from us."

NOTE: The Grizzlies will take their skills to South Beach to face the Miami Heat on Friday.

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