Final score: Grizzlies 97, Wizards 92
March 18, 2012
Locker Room Video
Key Stats of the Night
- In Zach Randolph’s second game back, the Grizzlies outrebounded the Wizards 20-9 on the offensive glass… Memphis held a 23-13 edge on second-chance points.
Key Run of the Night
After a Maurice Evans dunk tied the game (80-80) with 8:22 left in the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies made a 7-1 run that culminated with a Marc Gasol dunk with 3:49 remaining in the game… The Wizards would not come within four points for the remainder of the contest.
Rudy Gay led five Grizzlies in double figures with a season-high 27 points and nine rebounds... It marked Gay’s best scoring performance since he netted 28 points on Jan. 7, 2011 vs. Utah.
Mike Conley finished with 17 points, six assists and three steals… His franchise-record 14-game streak with multiple steals ties Rajon Rondo for the longest such stretch since the start of the 2008-09 season.
Zach Randolph scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds off the bench in his second game back from a torn MCL… Randolph is averaging 19.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in 24.5 minutes since his return.
John Wall led Washington with 25 points, six rebounds and six assists… He now is averaging 20.0 points and 8.8 assists in 11 games since the All-Star Break.
The Grizzlies fought off a fourth quarter charge by the Washington Wizards to post a 97-92 win on Sunday evening at FedExForum. Rudy Gay poured in a game-high 27 points, Mike Conley chipped in with 17, and Zach Randolph came off the bench to add 13 points and nine boards for Memphis.
On the win:
“We had 14 turnovers and gave up 20 points on those turnovers, a lot of them because we were just forcing action when we should have just made the easy play. But our guys worked hard and picked up the defense and made the right plays down the stretch for us to get the win. That’s a tough team to play. Plus, we’re shooting 40 percent for the game and just couldn’t buy a basket. We did make more free throws than we had in the previous game, so it gave us a chance to win.”
On Zach Randolph:
“Zach’s just coming back. He’s got to get his legs up under him. He wasn’t as good offensively as he was in the first game, but he was better defensively. He did get a big rebound.”
On the team’s recent offense:
“We just have to find out our new identity, whatever it may wind up being. I just told the guys I’m trying to fit guys in. We played a lot of guys tonight. I thought Jeremy Pargo came in and did a huge job giving a lift for Mike (Conley). I thought Marreese Speights came in and played the five in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter, gave Marc (Gasol) a big lift. We’ve got to use the depth and the guys that are starting, and understand that we’re going to use the depth.”
On the third quarter:
“We started getting stops. I think I took Zach (Randolph) out of the line-up. We had (Marreese) Speights and Dante Cunningham in the game, and the match-up was better on the kid (Trevor) Booker. We took him away scoring. I don’t know what he did in the second half, but he finished with six points and I think they were all in the first half. So we did a much better job on him. We did a much better job on Jordan Crawford, so we slowed them down in that fashion. We just played better.”
On the importance of the win:
“It was a big win. We definitely needed it. We let a couple of them slip away here at home, and we’re going off on a big road trip. Always good to start it off by getting that win out.”
On the upcoming road trip:
“We understand this is a very important road trip. We understand that we have a lot of competition. Everybody is kind of mixed up between the fourth and eighth spot. We’re playing a lot of those teams and understand that each game is as big as the next. We’re gonna have to put our hard hats on, because the road is where men are made and where we need to step up.”
On Zach Randolph returning:
“It’s been a little bit of a challenge. I think guys are just trying to get used to guys being back in the lineup. Just trying to acclimate Zach (Randolph) slowly but surely. You don’t want to play him too much, but we need him out there. I think everybody is just learning their roles, and some roles have been adjusted.”
On the upcoming schedule:
“It’s a schedule we’re looking for. A lot of games, not many practice days, and it’s on the road. It’ll be a little tough, but if you like to compete, it’s a perfect schedule.”
On Zach Randolph returning:
“With ‘Z’ (Zach Randolph) coming back, we’ll definitely have more of an inside game. Marc (Gasol) and Rudy (Gay) have definitely been holding it down, but we have got a third piece to that puzzle. That’s where we dominate now that the big fella is back.”
On the Grizzlies’ defense:
“I really don’t care how the game starts off or how we look on the offensive end throughout the game. My biggest thing is getting those stops down the stretch when we need them and that’s all that counts. It showed up today.”
On breaking the Grizzlies’ two-game losing streak:
“It was a two-game skid, and we didn’t want to get it further than that. We’ve got some winnable games coming up; and we’re gonna be tough. We just wanted to go on the West Coast with a great feeling, and today we did that. It’s just a great team win.”