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Final Score: Grizzlies 94 Mavericks 89 - April 7, 2012

The Grizzlies sprinted out to a big early lead and held on for a 94-89 victory over Dallas on Saturday night at FedExForum. Rudy Gay led all scorers with 25 points and Zach Randolph chipped in 15 and 11 rebounds for Memphis, which has won five of six and took the season series over Dallas, 2-1.

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Coach Hollins

On the game

“We shot 27 free throws and made 23 of them, and we matched them in three-pointers. We have been shooting pretty good and when we do that we give ourselves a chance. Our defense was pretty good. In the first quarter we outscored the Mavericks 29-10 and the next two quarters they outscored us but in the fourth quarter we shut them down. It was a gutsy win because we just finished seven out of nine and the guys just keep playing and competing. The difference between this game and the last game in Dallas we had no gas left. Tonight we had some gas left, and we had fresh guys come in and do something to help us get this win which is huge. We are three up on them on the loss column and now we are at a tie breaker with two teams, Denver and Dallas which is huge as we go forward. It is a tight race but we have to keep winning.”

On Gilbert Arenas and Zach Randolph

“Gilbert (Arenas) hitting the threes has been huge. He has brought in a new spirit for our guys, and it is contagious. Everyone is competing with him so it seems as though we have become a better three-point shooting team. Zach (Randolph), we were able to go to him and exploit the match up. We need him (Randolph) to continue to work outside of the games to get in shape, and I actually like him coming off the bench. He has had two double-doubles now and between Zach, Arenas and O.J. (Mayo), we have three scorers on the bench that can come in, and when we bring Zach in we can go to him exclusively because Rudy (Gay) may be off the floor and Marc eventually is off the floor along with Mike (Conley), so he (Randolph) has better space to operate.”

Zach Randolph starting lineup

“Eventually I think he will be back in the starting lineup. I like the way the balance is. He played in the fourth quarter and ended the game. He played more minutes than a starter so what difference does it make whether he starts or not but I know it makes a difference to those guys but as far as the team and us and how we function most efficiently is important as well.”

Three-Point Shooting

“I have always trusted three point shooting but we were an inside team that if you are going to make them, then it is just timing. Like I tell the guys, when we are in transition and we have higher numbers I would rather the better percentage shot first, then the second, third and last. When we have guys at the basket who can score and take the layup, I’d rather take the layup.”

On Arenas’ defense:

“His effort has been outstanding. What I say about guys who have been in the league-they just know where to be. He knows when to help, when to foul with the foul needed to be committed, he gets rebounds and that’s just experience and the more experience our guys get the better they get. Defensively three or four years ago, we weren’t doing the stuff that we are doing today, but as they get more experience, the more they understand.”

Zach Randolph

On coming back from injury

“It felt good. I plan on bouncing and moving around like I want to. I’m going to have to play around that pain and move up and crash the boards; get my hands on a lot of defensive rebounds. It’s just getting back. It’s getting natural. My confidence is coming back and having that touch around the basket.”

On the upcoming game against the Clippers

“It’s going to be a good game. It’s a tough team we’re playing, and we have to be ready.”

“We’ve got a tough team. We have good players who can play and have a strong bench. We can play with anybody. We’ve just got to come in and play and take one game at a time. We look forward to our next opponent.”

Marc Gasol

On shooting under 40-percent

“Definitely not pretty, but we’ll take it. Hopefully now that we’re home, we get our shooting back. You know, we’re winning.”

On being close to the playoffs

“Every game means a lot. It depends on how you approach it. Now the games are getting even better, because it’s close to playoff time. We’re trying to get there, so it’s going to be very emotional.”

“It really doesn’t feel like there are 11 games left. In a playoff run, it really doesn’t matter how many games are left. You’re trying to win every single one of them.”

Mike Conley

On the game

“Defense is always the difference. They did a good job of getting it to the fourth quarter. They made a run and knew they wouldn’t be out of the game. They’re a very good team. They executed very well. I thought we did a good job of making the second-chance efforts and getting the rebounds that we needed. We got the stops today.”

“Our focus has been great from shoot-around all the way until the first quarter. We play a lot of games down the stretch, but guys are just mentally more prepared. We’ve just come prepared very well.”

On Zach Randolph and Gilbert Arenas

“Z’ (Zach Randolph) is getting better. He’s still not where he wants to be and where we believe he can be, but he’s getting better. We’re happy the way he’s performed for us. We just need more of the same. We know that he’s going to be ready.”

“Gil (Gilbert Arenas) is looking like a young Gilbert all of a sudden again. He’s really shooting the ball well and playing well for us right now.”