Memphis Grizzlies celebrate 110-104 victory over Wizards
WASHINGTON (AP) - Tayshaun Prince scored a season-high 21 points, and the Memphis Grizzlies withstood a late rally Monday night to snap the Washington Wizards' winning streak at six with a 110-104 victory.
Zach Randolph added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who improved to a season-high nine games above .500 and pulled within one game of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Memphis shot 60 percent after the first quarter and outscored Washington 62-34 in the paint for the game.
John Wall scored 23 points, Bradley Beal had 21, and Marcin Gortat added 16 for the Wizards, whose offense cooled somewhat after averaging 112.5 points during their half-dozen wins. Washington had answered a challenge by winning its first three games after losing starting forward Nene to a knee injury, but this time the rotation was also missing forwards Kevin Seraphin (sore right knee) and Martell Webster (sore back).
The Grizzlies led by as many as 19 in the fourth quarter, but the Wizards pulled within two on Beal's 3-pointer with 8.9 seconds remaining. Memphis then went 4 for 4 from the free-throw line in the closing seconds to preserve the win.
The Grizzlies took over a tie game with a 17-2 run over the final 3Â½ minutes of the third quarter. Mike Conley (20 points, seven assists) started the run with a left-handed driving layup, one of five Memphis players to score during the spurt. Both Randolph and Tony Allen converted three-point plays, and Prince hit a 3-point shot as the lead grew to 79-64 entering the fourth.
Nick Calathes made a jumper early in the final period to push the lead to 19, but the Wizards came back with a 9-0 run to pull within seven. They kept the pressure on as Wall and rarely used rookie Otto Porter made back-to-back 3-pointers to make the score 102-98 with 1:17 to play.
Prince hit a jumper to put Memphis up by six in the final minute, but Marc Gasol missed a pair of free throws with 39 seconds left to keep the Wizards in the game. Wall's layup made the score 104-101 with 21 seconds left, and Beal's 3-pointer made it 106-104, but the Wizards ran out of time.
The Grizzlies had 10 players make at least two field goals, while the Wizards relied heavily on their starters. Each member of Washington's starting five scored in double figures, but only 14 points came from the bench.
Wall, who was selected the Eastern Conference player of the week earlier in the day, went 8 for 16 from the field and had nine assists and six rebounds. Beal started 1 for 7 and finished 7 for 15. Gortat, the Wizards' only true inside scoring threat, went 7 for 12 but didn't get to the free-throw line until late in the fourth quarter.