Notebook: Hornets 90, Grizzlies 83

Posted Mar 22, 2013 11:55 PM

By Bradley Handwerger, for

THE FACTS: The New Orleans Hornets nearly gave up a 16-point fourth quarter lead to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. Instead, they held on for a 90-83 win in the third game of a seven-game homestand.

Robin Lopez scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Anthony Davis added 18 points and 15 boards to pace New Orleans (24-46). The duo's output nearly wasn't enough.

New Orleans grabbed a 76-60 lead with 9:17 to play. Memphis (46-22), though, began chipping away, holding the Hornets to 3-for-8 shooting while forcing four turnovers. But then the Hornets got going again. Greivis Vasquez drilled a 3-pointer before Lopez put back a missed Eric Gordon jumper. A Jerryd Bayless layup pulled the Grizzlies closer, but that's as far as they got with Lopez hitting two free throws.

The Hornets held Memphis to 41 percent shooting, including allowing the Grizzlies to go just 14-for-41 in the second half. Memphis was led by Mike Conley's 20 points, five rebounds and four assists and Marc Gasol's 16 points and six rebounds.

QUOTABLE: "Defense is where it's at. We can get mesmerized by a great offense and we all want that. I certainly welcome it, but at the end of the day that's who we are. If we are ever going to do anything big here in this town it's going to start on that end of the floor."

-- Hornets coach Monty Williams

THE STAT: 49-33 -- New Orleans outrebounded Memphis by 16, which was the same number of offensive rebounds the Hornets picked up. One of the differences Friday night was New Orleans' 22 second-chance points.

TURNING POINT: Clinging to a one-point lead midway through the third quarter, the Hornets turned to Lopez. He helped New Orleans extend its lead to 16 points in the second half, as Lopez's 10 consecutive points started from the free-throw line with the Hornets leading just 54-53. It ended with a 14-foot jumper and New Orleans' lead pushed to 64-56. Memphis never recovered.

QUOTABLE II: "We were just trying to make shots. We were trying to speed the game up and get more opportunities; get into the paint and get more free throw opportunities. We did not do these things well and did not get back in the game."

-- Memphis' Mike Conley

HOT: The Hornets' Lopez rarely dominates in points, putting most of his muscle in defense. But against Memphis, he was 9-for-12, scoring 23 points while also grabbing 10 rebounds and blockings four shots. He also was 5-for-7 from the free-throw line.

NOT: Take Bayless' numbers away from Memphis' bench total and the Grizzlies were outscored 20-4. While Bayless went 5-for-12, his benchmates were 0-for-10.

NOTABLE: The Hornets' Davis now has 16 double-doubles, double the next best amount. ... Memphis' Conley finished with two steals and now has a steal in 59 consecutive games. ... Memphis won the transition battle, outscoring the Hornets 16-0 in fastbreak points. ... Friday's win was the second for New Orleans over a team with a winning record (Boston on Wednesday). It's the first time the Hornets have won back-to-back games against teams with winning records since January.

UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Monday vs. Denver, Wednesday vs. Clippers, Friday vs. Miami. For the Grizzlies, Saturday vs. Boston, Monday @ Washington, Wednesday @ New York.