Notebook: Grizzlies 93, Rockets 85

Posted Nov 10, 2012 1:37 AM

By Phil Stukenborg, for

THE FACTS: Rudy Gay scored 21 points and Zach Randolph added 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies to their fourth straight win, 93-85, over the Rockets. The Grizzlies are 4-1, matching the best start in the franchise's history.

In addition to getting strong play from their bench, the Grizzlies were able to limit the NBA's leading scorer, James Harden, to 18 points on 4-of-18 shooting. Harden entered the game averaging 30.3 points, but went 0-for-5 in the third quarter and 2-of-11 in the second half.

"Tony Allen did a great job on him and kept him out of his rhythm," said Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins.

Allen deflected the credit, noting that several players took turns guarding Harden. "Unfortunately, I got into foul trouble," Allen said.

The Grizzlies bench outscored the Rockets bench, 29-15, and was led by Jerryd Bayless, who had 12 points and three assists in 18 minutes. It was the Grizzlies' reserves that helped Memphis pull away early in the fourth quarter and survive a late Rockets' rally. Houston trimmed the lead to two points at 87-85 with 2:21 to play before Mike Conley drained a 3-pointer and Gay had a putback on successive possessions for a 92-85 advantage.

"We are trying to create havoc and play faster," Bayless said of the bench's contributions. "So far, we are having a little success."

QUOTABLE: "I think our team is focused, I think our team is healthy." -- Grizzlies coach Hollins on reasons for the team's 4-1 start.

THE STAT: Randolph has had a double-double in each of the team's five games this season. He is averaging 15.8 points and 15 rebounds.

TURNING POINT: A lineup featuring reserves Bayless, Marreese Speights, Quincy Pondexter, Wayne Ellington and starter Randolph limited the Rockets to seven points in the opening seven minutes of the fourth quarter. As a result, the Grizzlies extended a 69-68 lead to start the period to 12 points (87-75) with 4:55 to go and never trailed again. "Our bench has been absolutely magnificent in every game but the first one," Hollins said.

QUOTABLE II: "We had 20 turnovers and they had 18 offensive rebounds. That's too much. We have to control that." -- Rockets coach Kevin McHale on what led to the team's third straight loss.

HOT: The Grizzlies extended their franchise-record regular season home-winning streak to 13 games. Memphis' last regular-season home loss was March 16, 2012 to Toronto in overtime.

NOT: Harden, who made 28-of-44 shots in the Rockets first two games, has gone 18-of-57 in the last three, all losses. Harden is averaging 19 points in the last three games.

GOOD MOVE: Gay had two offensive rebounds on the same possession with the Grizzlies ahead 90-85 in the closing minutes. He rebounded a Conley miss on the first one and a Pondexter miss on the second, which he put back for a seven-point lead with 1:03 to play.

BAD MOVE: The Rockets entered the game leading the NBA in turnovers (19.8) and did nothing to lower the average. Houston committed 20.

NOTABLE: The Grizzlies finished with a season-high 14 steals and scored 21 fast break points.

UP NEXT: Grizzlies: Sunday vs. Miami; Wednesday @ Oklahoma City; Friday vs. New York. Rockets: Saturday vs. Detroit; Monday vs. Miami; Wednesday vs. New Orleans.