Gasol Scores Career-High 39, Grizz Top Wiz
Memphis 108, Washington 98
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 27 (Ticker) -- In the second half, Pau Gasol got some help from his teammates.
Gasol scored a career-high 39 points as the Memphis Grizzlies responded after halftime for a 108-98 victory over the Washington Wizards, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
"Mentally I really wanted to step up and play a good game," Gasol said. "That loss to Minnesota (Sunday), it was very painful, the way we let that one go. Me personally, I didn't do a good enough job when (Kevin Garnett) got ejected from the game. I wasn't aggressive enough.
"Tonight I didn't have any other choice. I wanted to do my best so we could get the win."
In the second half, Gasol got enough support from Eddie Jones and Shane Battier to offset Washington's tandem of Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison, who combined for 72 points.
"We felt we needed to come back home and get this win," Jones said. "It was a much-needed win after last night. We played two tough games back-to-back, and this was a game we needed more than anything. Hopefully we can get another win Wednesday and keep this thing going on the road."
After facing New York on Wednesday, the Grizzlies begin a four-game road trip.
Memphis limited Washington to 35 percent (7-of-20) shooting while sinking 68 percent (13-of-19) in the third period. The Grizzlies took their first lead at 68-67 with 3:05 left on a 3-pointer by Jones, who scored six points in a 7-0 spurt.
After the clubs traded baskets for majority of the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies went on a 9-0 run. Gasol's two foul shots ignited the surge and Battier's layup after a steal by former Wizard Chucky Atkins capped it for a 99-92 lead with 3:53 to play.
"It was a big scoring second half for us," Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said. "For us to score 67 points in the second half was key. At halftime we talked about why we struggled in the first half and the reasons we only scored 41 points. We made a much more concerted effort to do what we wanted to do offensively.
"Obviously we got a much needed win tonight after a tough stretch of games over the last week."
Gasol made 16-of-22 shots and grabbed 10 rebounds, helping Memphis end its three-game slide. Jones scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half and Battier had 11 of his 14 after the break.
"You've got to give them (Memphis) credit," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "They came back with a lot more energy in the second half and they got the juice. I felt we were distracted by some of the officials' calls and we lost our focus. That was the part of the game I was disappointed in."
The Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Arenas scored 37 points on 12-of-21 shooting. Jamison made a career-high six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 35 points for Washington, which has dropped five of its last six on the road.
"We played well tonight," Arenas said. "We just didn't pull it off. But we're not really concerned about what we're doing on the road right now."