Sports

Grizzlies fall to 76ers

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Zach Randolph grabbed an offensive rebound and was shoved. The ball left his hands and went out of bounds. Randolph shook his head in frustration.

It was just that kind of night.

On Wednesday (Dec 26), the Memphis Grizzlies fell to the Philadelphia 76ers (99-89) at the FedExForum in front of 16,055 fans.

"We just had no energy," Randolph said. "We played hard, but couldn't run anymore. We didn't get stops. We didn't stop the pick-and-roll. They got open jump shots all night. It's a combination of them playing well and taking advantage of us. We knew it was going to be a hard game."

The Grizzlies went into the half only two points behind (49-47). The more the Sixers would gain a substantial lead, the more the Grizzlies would make their way back to the two-point range. With a little more than 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the score at 75-73, Philadelphia went on a 13-0 run, taking it's largest lead of the night with 7:51 seconds left to play.

Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins said effort was missing in the game.

"We have to get back to paying the price and making all the sacrifices that we're making," Hollins said. "Winning is not easy, it's tough, and overcoming adversity to win is even tougher. We have to get back to that commitment or we're just going to be an average team."

Randolph, finishing with 23 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, made a three-point play during the final quarter to cut the lead to single digits, but it just wasn't enough to surpass the Sixers.

"I think we need to have the same commitment we had earlier in the season," Randolph said. "I plan on doing that. We have to get back to it. We haven't done anything that was too awful. This is still early in the season."

The Sixers ended their three-game losing streak against the Grizzlies. Memphis went 35-of-90 from the field shooting at 38 percent. Philadelphia finished at 52 percent shooting while outscoring Memphis 16-2 in fastbreak points.

Missing was Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay, who was reported to be out for "personal reasons."

Starting at Gay's forward position was Quincy Pondexter ,who finished with 13 points and five rebounds.

"Rudy (Gay) is a good player," Pondexter said. "We definitely missed him tonight. I wish he was out there. Sometimes, if you're a man down, we just have to come together collectively and try and get the win."

Center Marc Gasol contributed on 10 of the team's 13 points in the first quarter, finishing with 18 points and eight rebounds.

Sixers forward Dorell Wright led all scorers with a season-high 28 points followed by Spencer Hawes with 20 points and nine rebounds. Jrue Holiday and Memphis native Thaddeus Young each pitched in 13 points.

"I only had two rebounds, so you know what I was doing most of the night – just pretty much face-guarding and trying to keep Zach and the other guys off the glass," Young said.

"But it is huge if we can get the rebounds, get out in transition and get easy buckets because this is a team that wants to thrive off getting boards, offensive rebounds, getting in transition and forcing turnovers."

Sixer's head coach Doug Collins said the team "made some big shots to give momentum going into the half" as Philadelphia took the lead.

"If you look at Memphis' numbers, they're one of the best teams in the NBA," Collins said. "They defend the three, they defend the paint. I think they are second in points allowed. They are one of the best rebounding teams, so we consider this one of our better wins of the year."

Next up for the Grizzlies (now 18-8) are the Denver Nuggets on Saturday (Dec. 29) at the FedExForum.

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