Wed04162014

Sports

Grizzlies wake up in time to beat the Nuggets

grizznugg 600Five games in nine days during the longest road trip of the season warranted a day off for the Grizzlies on Thursday, the day before they took the court at the FedExForum to tangle with the Denver Nuggets.

By halftime it was clear the Grizzlies needed a wakeup call. Looking tired, sluggish and bearing faint resemblance to a team battling for a playoff spot, Memphis trailed 47-43 at the break before awakening in the third quarter and holding on for a 100-92 victory.

Memphis started off strong, grabbing a lead that stood at 24-18 at the end of the first quarter. The Grizz crowd of 17,011 responded accordingly but fell noticeably quiet as the Nuggets, who are mathematically eliminated from the playoff hunt, played inspired basketball. After Kenneth – the "Manimal" – Faried's layup tied the game at 28-28, the Nuggets unleashed a run that netted a 47-43 halftime advantage.

Read more...

Florida vaults from Memphis to the Final Four

gatorswin 600March Madness in the form of the NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Championship in Memphis turned into a coronation for the Florida Gators.

The nation's No. 1 ranked team coming into the tournament, Florida – the SEC regular season and tournament champions – beat back the Dayton Flyers 62-52 at the FedExForum on Saturday.

On Sunday, the Gators learned they would take on UConn of the American Athletic Conference in a battle to see which of the teams will get to play for the national championship on April 7th in East Texas. In the other national seminal, Kentucky will take Wisconsin.

Read more...

Mitchell & the road to state


Mithcell 600Mitchell High School put a big time whippin' on Meigs County, decisively affixing its stamp on the TSSAA Division 1 Class A Boys Basketball State Championship with a 56-27 thump'n.

On Saturday (March 29th), two weeks after the Tigers captured the Southwest Memphis school's first state basketball title, a community celebration will unfold. A parade and a string of speakers – community leaders, previous coaches, former players – will add energy to an experience that already has so many feeling like they are floating on air.

Coach Faragi Phillips engineered the title in his third year at Mitchell.

Read more...

Louisville puts the wraps on AAC title

aacfinal 600

The day before they landed a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Louisville Cardinals took ownership of the hardware that goes with being crowned the winners of the inaugural American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship.

The defending national champions thumped the University of Connecticut 71-61 at the FedExForum on Saturday. It was the seventh win for Louisville in the last eight contests against the Huskies.

The Cardinals (29-5) are set to square off against 13th-seeded Manhattan (25-7) on Thursday in the Mid-West Region in Orlando, Fla. UConn (26-8) is the seventh-seed in the East Region and will play No. 10-seed Saint Joseph's (24-9) on Thursday in Buffalo, N.Y. at the First Niagara Center.

Read more...

Tigers bounced – no kicked – from AAC Tourney

tigersuconn 600

The buzz about the University of Memphis' debut in the inaugural American Athletic Conference was short-lived, with the debut degenerating into a cameo appearance.

In front of 13,801 fans at FedExForum on Thursday night, the Tigers (fifth-seeded) took a beating from the fourth-seeded University of Connecticut Huskies.

The final score was 72-53 and it didn't feel that close.

Read more...

Grizz roll on with home-court winning streak

grizzblazer 600One game at a time. That's how the Memphis Grizzlies are taking it. And it's showing up in the Grind House, aka FedExForum.

Notching their seventh-straight home win with seven more home games left in the regular season, the Grizzlies defeated the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday (109-99).

The Grizzlies are back to playing tough defense and they've developed a fierce second unit that's garnering more and more playing time.

Read more...

Grizz top Cavaliers after digging a first-half hole


mike 600Two teams came together on Saturday (March 1) after coming off back-to-back games. The Memphis Grizzlies had just lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-107 on the road. The Cleveland Cavaliers had rolled over the Utah Jazz.

So, with Memphis looking to avoid two consecutive losses and Cleveland playing well as of late, something had to give. For a while, it seemed as if it would be the Grizzlies, who had a seriously cold first half before rallying for a 110-96 victory, with forward Zach Randolph leading the way.

"I thought it was more that he (Zach Randolph) decided to establish himself," said Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown. "In the first half we were the ones who were more physical. We were the ones that were hitting first.

Read more...

Memphis beat Louisville – enough said!

tigerscardinals 600It's just not something you normally associate with winning a basketball game, but then it wasn't just a basketball game. It was Louisville, as in rival, as in defending national champions, as in national television, as in the team the University of Memphis needed to beat after laying an egg against Houston in the previous game on the road.

"Completing the regular season sweep over Louisville is huge for this team and the city," said head coach Josh Pastner after the Tigers (22-7, 11-5) upset the No. 7 Cardinals 72-66 at the FedExForum on Saturday (March 1).

"Sweeping Louisville is huge for us, and means a lot for the city," said guard Chris Crawford, whose sharp shooting included a dagger-like three-pointer with the game in the balance in the waning moments.

 

Read more...

GRIZZ TRACK: L.A.’s three-point outburst not enough to beat Grizzlies

grizzlaker 600A different day and a different pace but still a win for the Memphis Grizzlies as they outlasted the Los Angeles Lakers after a strong first half, ending up on the winning side of a tight 108-103 game on Wednesday (Feb. 26th) at FedExForum.

The Grizzlies had just split back-to-back games, defeating the Los Angeles Clippers at home on Friday (102-96) then losing to the Charlotte Bobcats on the road on Saturday 89-92.

The last time the Los Angeles Lakers were in town All-Star Kobe Bryant got injured. Bryant hasn't returned. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies have welcomed back defensive-minded guard Tony Allen for his third game.

 

Read more...

Grizz outlast Clippers for a keep-pace victory

grizclip 600

Every NBA win is important, especially amid a dogfight for playoff position in the Western Conference. So Memphis' 102-96 victory at the FedExForum on Friday night was satisfying.

But, add in the detail that the win was at the expense of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers and a satisfying win gets an upgrade to sweet.

The Grizzlies-Clippers rivalry is punctuated by prickliness. Friday night's confrontation came with L.A. ranked among the Western Conference's top four teams and Memphis in a scruff with Phoenix, Golden State and Dallas to finish among the top eight teams that will battle for conference supremacy in the playoffs.

Read more...

Neck-tattoo promo rubs some Grizz fans the wrong way

grizztattoo 600Tattoos are becoming increasingly popular among today's pop culture. Many young adults use their bodies as canvasses reflecting their freedom of expression. To naysayers, visible body art is a professional no-no, with some making exceptions for artists, musicians or athletes.

With that backdrop, the Memphis Grizzlies tonight (Feb. 21st) are moving to do something that seems to be a first in NBA history. The first 5,000 fans to enter the FedExForum for the game against the Los Angeles Clippers will receive a clear sticker with "GRIZZLIES" inscribed on it. The sticker is to go on the necks of fans in honor of new fan-favoriteJames Johnson.

Acquired from the D-League on Dec. 16, Johnson quickly staked his claim to fan support with his athleticism and the spark he delivers off the bench. He is averaging 8.2 points per game and leads the league in three-point blocks.

Read more...

Grizz pull out win over Carmelo & Knicks

mikemiller 600The post All-Star game run of the NBA season has started and the Memphis Grizzlies made a step in the right direction pulling out a win against the New York Knicks on Tuesday (Feb. 18th) at FedExForum.

A lift from Mike Conley and a rain of three-pointers from Mike Miller kept the Grizzlies afloat, withstanding New York's second-half surge en route to a 98-93 victory.

Conley had missed the previous seven games with a sprained right ankle. Finishing with 22 points, he was 6-of-15 from the field and scored a season high 10-of-12 from the free throw line. He dropped nine points during the last five minutes of play.

 

Read more...

Tigers meet ‘great expectations’ in thriller over Gonzaga

jacksonblock 600With ESPN's College GameDay and the No. 23 Gonzaga Bulldogs in town, members of the True Blue Nation packed the FedExForum Saturday night (Feb. 8). They came with great expectations and the Tigers delivered with a 60-54 win.

For most of the first half, Gonzaga controlled the pace. They were able to force Memphis into a half court set and the Tigers' offense looked non-existent.

Memphis started to speed things up with around five minutes remaining in the half, but the Bulldogs seemed to have an answer every time the Tigers tried to rally.

Read more...