Wednesday, December 26, 8:00 PM (EST) at FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
by Marlon W. Morgan
THE FACTS: Philadelphia coach Doug Collins put 6-foot-9 forward Dorrell Wright into the starting lineup to match up against Rudy Gay of Memphis. At the time, he didn't know Gay wasn't with the team due to personal reasons. Collins also had no idea Wright, who was taking the place of the injured Jason Richardson, would respond with a season-high and game-high 28 points to help the Sixers beat the Grizzlies 99-89 at FedExForum.
QUOTABLE: "Coming here, one of the things I've had to sacrifice is coming off the bench, but I've been happy with my role. Being able to step up for J-Rich was great. I had the opportunity to make some shots and help the team win."
-- Dorrell Wright
THE STAT: The Sixers used just three bench players, but they managed to outscore the Grizzlies bench 38-19. No Memphis reserve scored in double figures while the Sixers got 20 from Spencer Hawes and 12 fromNick Young.
TURNING POINT: After trailing for most of the second half, the Grizzlies pulled to within 75-73 with 10:30 left in the game. But Philadelphia answered with a 13-0 run that gave them their largest lead of the game 88-73 with 7:51 to play.
HOT: Wright was on fire from start to finish for the Sixers. He connected on 8-for-11, including 5-for-8 from 3-point range, and was 7-for-8 from the free-throw line. Wright also contributed with six rebounds and a couple of blocks.
NOT: The Grizzlies four-guard rotation of Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Jerryd Bayless and Wayne Ellingtonwere a combined 8-for-37 (.216) from the floor for 20 points. Conley himself missed 14 of 17.
QUOTABLE II: "I think we need to have the same commitment we had earlier in the season. I plan on doing that. We have to get back to it. This is still early in the season. We had a good month at the beginning of the season. I think there was miscommunication. ... We just have to come out and play our game. We have to get back on the same page."
-- Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph
NOTABLE: Wednesday's game was the Philadelphia's second in an eight-game road trip, but first of seven straight against Western Conference teams. They became just the third team to win in FedExForum this season, joining Denver and Atlanta. It was also just the Sixers fifth road win of the season. ... Evan Turnerscored just one point for Philadelphia and missed all four of his shot attempts and committed six turnovers. But Collins was pleased with Turner's ability to do other things to help his team win. Turner tied teammateJrue Holiday with a game-high nine assists and added six rebounds a couple of steals. ... Also coming up big for the Sixers was backup center Hawes. Hawes scored a season-high 20 points to go with nine rebounds and five of the team's 12 blocked shots. ... While Gay was absent for the Grizzlies, the Sixers were playing with out Richardson, who has a low back strain. ... After shooting 62 in the opening quarter, the Grizzlies lost their touch in the second quarter, shooting just 28 percent, which allowed the Sixers to take a 49-47 halftime lead. They finished the game shooting 39 percent. ... The Grizzlies were led by Zach Randolph, who had 23 points and nine rebounds. Center Marc Gasol had 18 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, but scored just six points after the first quarter.