- Category: Sports
05 Dec 2012
- Written by Kelley Evans
It was Z-bo night at the FedExForum on Tuesday.
It really was.
The crowd was proof and so was his finish.
Randolph led all scorers and tallied a season-high 38 points and 22 rebounds. He emerged in the fourth quarter and dominated the game in overtime during which Memphis outscored the Suns 14 to 4.
"Z-bo, Z-bo, Z-bo!"
The chants resonated among the 14,481 fans as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Phoenix Suns 108-98 in overtime.
"A lot of teams have been really double-teaming Zach, sending three four guys at him, two guys – at least – on the glass against him," said Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins.
"His numbers have been down but tonight he got a lot of one-on-one and he was able to operate....All season long Zach has been terrific. He's healthy, his spirit is good, tonight he came out and he played."
The Phoenix Suns had no single man who could match Randolph's intensity. He scored 16 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter and in overtime.
"This is the first game that I felt comfortable, especially on the offensive end," Randolph said. "My shot was falling...It was a good team win."
The Grizzlies went into the locker room at halftime down by seven (52-45). By the end of the third, the Suns still possessed the lead, but the fourth quarter was the difference maker.
The Suns led by as many as 16. The Grizzlies chipped away at the deficit and took the lead in the fourth quarter with 1:10 remaining before the game went into overtime. Grizz forward Rudy Gay tied the game at 94 with 15.9 seconds left to play. The game went into overtime after the Suns' Jermaine O'Neal missed a shot at the buzzer.
For the Grizzlies, Quincy Pondexter finished with 16 points, with Gay and center Marc Gasol each scoring 14 points.
"He reminded me of two-years-ago Zach," Gasol said of Randolph's game. "He had the little bounce. He doesn't get high, but you could see it in his eyes. He had the eyebrow and all that going. It was good. He was aggressive. He wasn't settling as much as he's been in the past."
Gasol fouled out in overtime.
"We knew it was going to be different when he (Randolph) was out there spinning and dunking," said Grizz point guard Mike Conley.
"If you go back and look, he has always been 20-10 since he walked into the league," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said of Randolph. "He is just a determined guy. He came up with a couple of really big rebounds. He just worked himself to get them."
Phoenix closed out a six-game road trip, losing four in a row. Goran Dragic led the Suns with 19 points and seven assists. Luis Scola pitched in 16, with eight rebounds. Jared Dudley added 13 points.
It was the second consecutive overtime game for the Grizzlies. The other was a 99-95 loss to the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. The top two teams battled it out after the Grizz used a 20-8 run to take the lead. But it wasn't enough as the Spurs kept pressing. They outscored the Grizzlies 27-14 in the fourth quarter to force the game into overtime.
The Grizzlies will face the New Orleans Hornets on Friday (Dec. 7).