MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 3 (Ticker) -- Pau Gasol
continues to be at the
forefront of the Memphis Grizzlies' resurgence.
Gasol collected 25 points and 10 rebounds while Shane Battier
added 18 points as the Grizzlies extended their winning streak
to a season-high four games with a 92-82 triumph over the
struggling Utah Jazz, who have lost 16 of 19.
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After winning a franchise-best 50 games and making its first
playoff appearance last season, Memphis stumbled out of the gate
and had to deal with the resignation of coach Hubie Brown.
But the team has turned it around under new coach Mike Fratello
going 7-2 in its last nine contests with Gasol as the catalyst.
Named Western Conference Player of the Week earlier Monday, the
Spaniard is averaging 24 points in the last four games.
"My goal is to take it game by game and play as hard as I can to
help the team win," Gasol said. "I'm trying to play well and
play my role well; to lead my team on the court and do what I'm
supposed to do."
"I think when (Gasol) signed his contract this summer, he knew
he was our guy," Battier said. "A lot of our succcess is based
on his play, and if we don't have success, people are going to
look at him. It's good that he realizes that. Not everyone at
age 24 realizes that."
Gasol made his statement in the third quarter when he connected
on all six of his shots en route to 17 points in the period,
when the Grizzlies outscored the Jazz, 31-20, to take a 68-58
"I realized (at halftime) I wasn't being aggressive enough,"
said Gasol, who scored just four first-half points on 1-of-6
shooting. "I had two turnovers in the first half, and that can't
happen. If our team gives me the ball to create something in
the post, I'm supposed to score, get a foul or set up one of my
"We played different spurts with different people and I was
particularly proud of Pau tonight," Fratello said. "He was able
to get some good looks for other people because he was willing
to give it up."
After being in Jazz coach Jerry Sloan's
doghouse for several
weeks, Carlos Arroyo
came off the bench to score 13 of his 15
points in the final period, including a 3-pointer to cut the
deficit to 88-82 with just over a minute remaining.
"I wasn't too happy about my five minutes in the first half,"
Arroyo said. "But I have to stay ready. I know I'm going to
play, so whenever he calls me I have to be ready. I feel like I
can help this team."
Utah's Carlos Boozer
collected 20 points and 15 rebounds but
failed on an opportunity to cut the lead to four with 36 seconds
left by missing a layup.
"This is the way our season's been going," Jazz forward Matt Harpring
said. "It seems like every third quarter, we give up
eight or 10 points on a run and the next thing you know, we're
trying to play catch-up basketball. We're just not a catch-up
"When you're struggling, everything happens," Sloan said. "The
food doesn't taste as good. You don't sleep as well. You have
a lot of things that don't go well for you. You just have to
work a little bit harder."