NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 31 (Ticker) -- Lorenzen Wright
put an exclamation
point on the best January in Grizzlies franchise history.
Wright scored a season-high 19 points to lead six players in
double figures and also grabbed 11 rebounds to give the Memphis
Grizzlies a 98-91 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.
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Memphis finished January with a 12-3 record, the fifth winning
month in the franchise's 10 seasons, and was victorious for just
the second time in nine tries when visiting the Hornets.
The Grizzlies trailed most of the first half but began to pull
away with a 17-5 run that started late in the third quarter. It
was highlighted by consecutive jump hooks by Wright, and
Memphis led 82-68 with 9:52 remaining.
"I was sick last game with a stomach virus," Wright said. "I
didn't get to play a whole lot. So I got a lot of rest in the
last few days. My shots were falling for me."
The Hornets crept within 92-89 with 26 seconds left on rookie
's breakaway layup but could get no closer.
scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half and
came off the bench to collect 11 and 10 assists in
27 minutes for Memphis, which improved to 21-9 under coach Mike Fratello
Watson recorded his first double-double since December 10
despite a mild shoulder sprain in the first quarter.
"First time I've been hurt in a long time," Watson said. "I
just played through the pain because the emotion and adrenalin
were flowing. But I'm paying a toll for it now because I'm
Swift scored his most points since November 20 and did not
commit a foul or turnover in the second half after collecting
three fouls and two turnovers in the opening half.
"We need (Swift) to come up big," Fratello said. "It's easy to
figure out that we need him, with his scoring and rebounding.
He had a great second half and I left him out there because he
stayed out of foul trouble."
The Grizzlies won three of their last four games without leading
scorer Pau Gasol
, who has a heel injury.
"We've done a great job (handling adversity and injuries),"
Wright said. "That's the character of this team. A lot of guys
can step up. Everybody on this team is experienced. That's
good when you have guys go down."
had 19 points and 12 assists, Rodney Rogers
and 10 rebounds and P.J. Brown
contributed 10 and 12 for the
Hornets, who also had six scorers in double figures. New
Orleans has lost four of five and fell to a league-worst 8-36.
New Orleans took a 37-30 lead in the second quarter with an 8-0
run capped by an underhanded alley-oop pass from Lee Nailon
Smith for a one-handed dunk.
The Hornets made seven more baskets than Memphis. But the
Grizzlies outscored them from the arc, 27-18, and from the line,
"We continue to hang in there with the best teams in the West,"
Hornets coach Byron Scott
said. "The one thing that is
separating us from those teams is that killer instinct. A lot
of teams have it. Right now we're still in the learning