MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Once the Memphis Grizzlies started making
3-pointers at a record pace, the rest of their offense opened up.
That was bad news for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Jason Williams had 25 points and eight assists, and the
Grizzlies used a team-record 13 3-pointers to beat the Bucks 101-82
on Saturday night.
"The defense loosens up a lot if my teammates hit all those
3s," said Memphis forward Pau Gasol, who added 22 points and eight
rebounds. "Now, the defense is also concerned about those shooters
outside, and so they kind of hesitate."
Bonzi Wells scored 21 points for Memphis, which won for the
eighth time in nine games. James Posey, 4-for-7 from 3-point range,
finished with 14.
Williams had the bulk of the Grizzlies' 3-pointers, shooting
7-of-13 from long range.
"Pau's presence in the inside opens things up for us on the
outside," Posey said. "We try not to rely on the 3-point ball,
and try to get it into Pau. If they double, we just swing the ball,
and hopefully, they are falling that night."
Michael Redd scored 26 points for the Bucks, who have lost four
straight and are at their lowest mark of the season, 11 games below
Milwaukee, which trailed by double-digits through much of the
second half, cut the lead to seven early in the fourth period. But
Williams hit a 3-pointer and Gasol scored four points to help the
Grizzlies build a 93-76 lead.
"We tried to limit Gasol to as few touches as we could, and at
the same time Jason Williams was knocking down 3s," Redd said.
"It was a pick-your-poison type of game in the second half."
If the outside shooting wasn't enough to carry the Grizzlies,
Memphis also outscored the Bucks 40-26 in the paint and had only
six turnovers -- a season low -- compared to 16 miscues by Milwaukee
that led to 25 points by Memphis.
Some of Milwaukee's turnovers helped Memphis close the first
half with six straight points in the final 48 seconds to take a
48-42 lead at the break.
"They are a good defensive team, but we were careless with
turnovers," Redd said. "We need to do something about that."
Posey, who has been hampered by a foot injury, scored 11 points
in the first quarter and had all of his points in the half.
The Bucks controlled the inside early, scoring 14 points in the
paint in the first quarter. But Memphis took over the middle in the
second quarter with 16 in the period.
Memphis continued to build on a 6-0 run to end the first half
and extended it to 15-2 in the early stages of the third period.
When Williams hit four consecutive 3-pointers midway through the
period, Memphis had built the lead to 69-52.
"Jason just went crazy in the second half, and everybody else
fed off of him," Bucks coach Terry Porter said. "He was the
dagger for us. Whenever we'd get close, he would hit one."
Milwaukee whittled away at the advantage, but Memphis carried a
77-65 lead into the final period.
Grizzlies F Brian Cardinal returned to action after missing
five games with a right shoulder injury. He played six minutes and
didn't score. "He is building his shoulder back, and we wanted him
to get some minutes and build his confidence," Memphis coach Mike
Fratello said. ... Bucks F Keith Van Horn played 19 minutes, the
most of the four games since returning from the injured list
Tuesday. ... Bucks G Mo Williams left in the third period with left
knee tendinitis and didn't return. ... The Grizzlies' previous
record for 3-pointers was 12, done six other times. ... Jason
Williams' seven 3-pointers and five steals tied his career highs.
... Bucks C Dan Gadzuric tied a season high with four blocks. ...
The average losing margin in the Bucks' four-game skid is almost 15
points, and includes a 105-103 loss to Washington on Friday.