Magic GameNight: Orlando at Memphis (1/31/11)


GameNight Specifics
NBA Coverage: Game Info
Date: Monday, Jan. 31
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: FedEx Forum (Memphis, TN)
Radio: AM 580 WDBO, AM 1270 WRLZ
Television: Sun Sports



Jameer Nelson

Jason Richardson

Dwight Howard

Brandon Bass

Hedo Turkoglu

Ryan Anderson

J.J. Redick
Mike Conley

Sam Young

Marc Gasol

Zach Randolph

Rudy Gay

Darrell Arthur

Xavier Henry


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins implored guard Mike Conley to be more aggressive.

The fourth-year guard responded with 26 points and 11 assists to help Memphis beat Orlando 100-97 on Monday night. It was the first time he had more than 20 points and 10 assists in the same game.

"He told me I had to go for 30, and I tried, I tried." Conley said of Hollins. "I did what it took to win."

The Grizzlies climbed above .500 (25-24) for the first time since the third game of the season. They have won six of their last seven games.

Hollins became the coach with the most wins in Grizzlies history with 96, surpassing Mike Fratello. He downplayed the achievement, saying winning a conference final and an NBA championship "would please me more than being the winningest coach."

Six players scored in double figures for Memphis. Marc Gasol had 19 points while Zach Randolph, who was named the Western Conference player of the week Monday, added 10 points and nine rebounds.

Reserve forward Darrell Arthur scored 14 points and Rudy Gay added 13.

Orlando is now 7-6 in the second game of a back-to-back. The Magic are 6-6 since their nine-game win streak was snapped Jan. 12.

"Again, we dug ourselves a big hole and ... we fought back and came up short," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "It's becoming some of the same old story all the time."

Dwight Howard scored 25 points and Jason Richardson added 18 for Orlando. Gilbert Arenas returned to action after missing Sunday's game against Cleveland with a left knee contusion. He scored 10 points.
Orlando rallied from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Arenas made one of two foul shots to cut the Grizzlies lead to 98-97 with 40 seconds left.

Conley stole the ball from Orlando forward Ryan Anderson and was fouled. Howard was then called for a technical foul and Randolph made the free throw.

Conley made one of two free throws before Richardson's shot missed badly. Howard's technical foul was the reason the Magic had to shoot a 3-pointer just to tie the game.

Conley's steal on Anderson's offensive rebound was crucial because it gave the ball back to the Grizzlies with a one point lead, instead of giving the Magic another possession.

"I knew I couldn't jump to get the rebound, so I waited for him to bring it down, and right when he brought it down to my lap, I just reached and grabbed and tried to rip out as fast as I could," Conley said.

Memphis led 86-74 after three quarters, but Orlando went on a 12-2 run and eventually tied the game at 96 on two Hedo Turkoglu free throws with 2:15 left in the game.

Gasol dunked to give Memphis a 98-96 lead, and Orlando managed just one free throw the rest of the way.

The Grizzlies shot 53 percent and scored 22 points on 19 Magic turnovers.

"We were playing with incredible energy," Hollins said. "We took a few punches and we just kept battling."

Memphis' hot shooting carried over from the first half - when it shot 63 percent - and into the third, with the Grizzlies making first three of their first four shots. A dunk by Gasol gave them a 61-60 lead.

A dunk by Howard gave Orlando a 62-61 advantage. Memphis followed with an 11-4 spurt, building a 72-66 lead on a 3-pointer by Conley with 7:20 left in the third.

Magic forward Brandon Bass left the game in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle after he landed on Randolph's left foot on a jump shot. He did not return.

Orlando guard J.J. Redick missed the game with a left shoulder problem. He is day-to-day.

Notes: Grizzlies guard Tony Allen and Van Gundy has a brief confrontation in the first quarter. During a timeout, Van Gundy told an official that Allen shouldn't speak to Van Gundy because "I haven't talked to him." Allen tried to tell Van Gundy and an official that he didn't say anything. ... Randolph averaged 21 points and 15 rebounds in guiding the Grizzlies to a 3-1 record last week.


Some 30 hours before the Orlando Magic hit the floor Monday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, Orlando Magic franchise center Dwight Howard brushed aside several questions about his offensive growth and instead wanted to talk only about defense.

``The only way it’s going to change for us is if we decide that we’re going to do it defensively,’’ Howard said. ``If we don’t do it, we’ll win a game here and there and remain one of the top five teams in the East, but that’s not the goal.’’

The Magic had several chances to beat the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night, but missed a critical free throw and two wide-open 3-point shots. But Orlando’s 100-97 loss to the Grizzlies ultimately came not because of those missed shots, but because of a defense that was again shredded and put the team in too big of a hole.

Orlando (31-18) allowed Memphis (25-24) to shoot 53.3 percent and get big games from point guard Mike Conley (26 points, 11 assists and four 3-pointers) and Marc Gasol (19 points and eight rebounds). The Grizzlies beat the Magic in Memphis for the eighth time in 10 meetings largely by shooting 76 percent in the second quarter and 58 percent in the third quarter to build a lead as big as 13 points.

The Magic made a valiant run in the fourth quarter to draw within 98-97, but a free throw miss by Gilbert Arenas and missed 3-pointers by Ryan Anderson and Hedo Turkoglu spoiled any chances of the come-from-behind win. And it didn’t help matters when Howard picked up his 13th technical foul of the season with 5.5 seconds left in the game.

``Again we dug ourselves a big hole and we fought back and came up short. It’s becoming the same old story all of the time,’’ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. ``I applaud the resilience, but if you’re not going to get over the hump and get it done it really doesn’t amount to much.

``We’ll (defend) at times. Right now, we’re not ready to contend because we don’t defend hard enough for long enough,’’ Van Gundy continued. ``We’re going to see if over the next 10 ½ weeks if it will change. If it does then we have a chance to be as good as anybody and if it doesn’t then we don’t. It’s pretty simple to me. Particularly in the third quarter we didn’t play well at all, we dug ourselves a big hole and we just weren’t good enough.’’

The Magic got 25 points, 14 rebounds and two blocked shots from Howard and a spirited fourth-quarter finish from reserve point guard Arenas (10 points, three assists and two steals). But in the end, because of the defensive woes and the missed opportunities offensively all they were left with was a desperation heave from Jason Richardson that fell short.

Here’s a look back at what went right, what went wrong and some final observations from Monday in Memphis: