MEMPHIS, Tenn. Jan. 7 (Ticker) --
After a rough start to the
season, the Memphis Grizzlies finally are back over .500.
scored 20 points and Shane Battier
added 19 as the
Grizzlies extended their winning streak to a season-high six
games with an 84-76 triumph over the reeling New Orleans
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After making the playoffs for the first time in club history
last season, Memphis (18-17) started this season 0-4 en route to
a 5-11 mark. The team also had to deal with the retirement of
Hubie Brown, the winningest coach in the franchise's 10 seasons.
But since Brown's departure, the team has turned it around under
, going 13-5 since his hiring December 2. He has
the team focusing on each game rather than the overall streak.
"I don't think we were overconfident tonight," Grizzlies forward
said. "I think we played with good confidence. We
just have to defend, rebound, and then get out. That's what
makes us good basketball team."
Memphis led 75-74 with 2:04 left when Miller hit a layup and
Battier followed with a runner 57 seconds later. Gasol nailed
four free throws in the final 18 seconds to secure the victory.
"Some guys made some big drives at the end. Mike made a few big
shots and Shane came up with big shots and rebounds," Fratello
"For a while they gave us some trouble, but in the fourth
quarter we were finally able to make some plays and executed to
put the game away," Battier said. "We knew that we wouldn't be
able to put them away, that they would be pesky. We just had to
match their physical play."
scored 19 points for the New Orleans (2-29), which
shot just 32 percent (26-of-82), but kept things close with
18 offensive rebounds.
"They hung around, got offensive boards and second shot
opportunities," Fratello said. "They pulled down 18 offensive
boards on the night. We obviously didn't have the same energy as
last night (in the victory over Detroit), which you could see
with our foul trouble."
The Grizzlies then led by as many as 13 in the third quarter on
a 3-pointer by Battier with 6:12 remaining, but New Orleans
closed within 74-73 at 7:01 to go on a fadeaway jumper by Davis,
who was just 6-of-20 from the floor.
"We did a good job on defense. We just need to find someone down
the stretch that we can go to," Davis said. "It's not like
we're not getting looks (on offense), we're just not making our
shots. We just have to relax and get into our offense and really
just make some shots and not force them."
"We're having problems in the fourth quarter," Hornets coach
said. "We don't get into our offense fast enough and
part of that is because we don't push it after rebounds. We're
getting some wide-open shots, we're just not knocking them
added 14 points, but like Davis, missed crucial shots
in the last four minutes as New Orleans' latest losing streak
reached 10 games.