Gasol Carries Grizzlies Over Bucks
Memphis 100, Milwaukee 90
MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 7 (Ticker) -- All-Star Pau Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies are starting to round into postseason form.
Gasol recorded 33 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists and Chucky Atkins scored 16 points as the Grizzlies won their third straight game, a 100-90 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
"We stepped up when we had to," said Gasol, who shot 13-of-15 from the floor. "That's what winning is all about. We found ways to make plays and make things happen."
Milwaukee cut its deficit to 92-88 with 1:24 left in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Michael Redd, who scored 25 points. However, Atkins followed with a floater in the lane and Gasol made a pair of free throws to help build a eight-point edge with 59 seconds remaining.
The Bucks trailed by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, but were able to tie the game, 81-81, with 5:56 to play. But Lorenzen Wright found Atkins for a 3-pointer on the Memphis' next possession as they began to pull away.
"It got close. They kept fighting," Atkins said. "That's the kind of test we need going into the playoffs. When we're (in a playoff game) and a team comes back and gets hot, we need to know who has the fortitude to step up and answer."
Wright had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Bobby Jackson and Shane Battier added 10 points apiece for Memphis, which shot 53 percent (38-of-72) from the field and blocked 15 shots.
"This was a big win for us because we were playing a playoff team," said Battier, who blocked four shots. "We know if we want to do anything in the postseason, we have to beat teams like Milwaukee, teams that are playing for something."
Rookie Andrew Bogut scored 18 points and Charlie Bell contributed 15 off the bench for the Bucks (37-39), who fell 2 1/2 games behind Washington for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference.
"That's a tough loss for us right now," Redd said. "We didn't execute like we should have. They challenged us and we missed shots."
Milwaukee, which shot 38 percent (33-of-86) overall, dropped its sixth consecutive road game. Despite the loss, the Bucks remain a one-half game ahead of Indiana in the East.