Denton's Dish: The 5th Quarter (2/12/14)
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Orlando seemed poised to pull off another come-from-behind victory against a third straight perennial playoff powerhouse, especially after Nikola Vucevic and Nelson hit go-ahead shots late in the fourth period.
But Randolph proved to be too hard to guard once again for the Magic. With his team down 79-78 in the final two minutes, the rugged power forward faced up Vucevic, offered up a couple of fakes and then drilled a step-back jumper. The shot gave Memphis a lead it would not surrender, especially after Randolph’s runner following the clear-path foul.
Randolph carried a Memphis team that was already without starters Mike Conley and Tony Allen and lost standout center Marc Gasol (sore knee) in the third quarter. He scored six of his 20 points in the fourth quarter.
``He’s pretty tough and a pretty good player. He’s been doing it for a while, so he’s very good at (scoring),’’ Vucevic said. ``We knew that he wanted to go left, but on the last couple of plays I didn’t close out enough on that left side. He took advantage of it.’’