Warrick, Grizzlies Overcome Howard’s Big Game
Posted Nov 21 2006 12:40AM
Memphis 95, Orlando 86
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 20 (AP) -- In one of those rare occurrences of the Grizzlies' young season, Memphis not only rallied in the fourth quarter, but closed out the game pulling away.
Hakim Warrick's 15 points in the fourth quarter keyed a late rally Monday night to help Memphis defeat the Orlando Magic 95-86, just their second win of the season.
``It's just exciting, man, to finally get a win,'' said Warrick, who finished the game with 26 points and 10 rebounds. ``Just take them one at a time. That's what we need to do. We got that monkey off our back.''
The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak for Memphis, which rallied from a 7-point deficit with 5:33 left. The Grizzlies put together a 21-2 run to erase the Magic lead and build the advantage to 12 points in the closing seconds.
The Magic saw their 4-game winning streak come to an end with the loss.
Dwight Howard scored 24 points and grabbed 23 rebounds to lead the Magic. It marked Howard's third 20-20 game out of the Magic's first 11.
``He's just a monster. He's a beast out there and played unbelievable,'' Warrick said.
Rookie Kyle Lowry had 16 points off the Memphis bench to go with six assists and five steals, while Jake Tsakalidis, who had played only 4 minutes in the last five games, had 11 points and nine rebounds in almost 24 minutes.
Lowry, who was 6-of-10 from the field, grabbed five rebounds, including several key boards down the stretch as Memphis overtook the Magic and extended the lead.
The Magic led 80-73 with 5:33 left when Tony Battie hit a 15-footer. But Memphis scored nine straight points, capped by a 3-pointer from Mike Miller to give the Grizzlies an 82-80 lead with 3:38 left. They continued to extend it until a pair of free throws by Tsakalidis built the lead to 94-82 with 22.8 seconds left.
``When we were winning by a lot of points, we didn't bury them,'' Howard said. ``We let them come back in the game.
``I guess our execution wasn't there. We went about five or six possessions without scoring.''
Orlando led 45-40 at the half behind 12 points each from Hill and Howard, who grabbed 13 rebounds.
In the early minutes, everything the Grizzlies tried was futile: They could do nothing with Howard as the Magic center had 9 points and 8 rebounds at the end of the first quarter. Most of those came inside on follows and dunks, and by the second period, Howard already had reached his fifth double-double in the last six games.
Meanwhile, Memphis was struggling from the field, shooting 26 percent early.
``We started the game off very, very (poorly),'' Lowry said. ``We didn't make shots. We seemed kind of dead.''
Still, when Howard took a breather in the second quarter, Memphis - behind Warrick, who had 11 in the half - was able to take its first lead midway through the period.
The Grizzlies whittled away at the Magic lead in the third and even overtook Orlando. But back-to-back baskets by Nelson and Hill scoring inside helped the Magic hold on to a 65-63 lead entering the fourth.
Orlando couldn't maintain the lead when the Grizzlies put together their run, and Magic coach Brian Hill pointed to a myriad of reasons for the loss, including 19 turnovers.
``Turnovers hurt us tonight,'' the Orlando coach said. ``Our offensive execution was horrible. We did a poor job feeding the post, trying to make plays that weren't there. Our shot selection was bad. We just didn't execute.''
Notes: The Magic have lost four straight and eight of the last nine to the Grizzlies. ...Warrick and Miller are the only Memphis players to start every game. On the other hand, the Magic has used the same starting lineup for all 11 of their games, except one, in which Keith Bogans started for Grant Hill. ... Howard's 23 rebounds tied the mark for most rebounds by a Grizzlies' opponent. ...Lowry had five of the 10 Memphis steals, equaling the record for steals in a game by a Memphis rookie.
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