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Gasol scores 36 as Grizzlies maul Knicks

NEW YORK (AP) -- It looked like a mismatch: The turnover-prone
New York Knicks against an excellent defensive team in the Memphis
Grizzlies.

And that's exactly the way it turned out.

Pau Gasol scored 36 points, and the Grizzlies used a dominant
defensive effort to pull away early and beat the Knicks 91-75
Friday night for their sixth straight victory.

"The thing that we wanted to do here was jump on it quick,"
Gasol said. "When you're a team that's not having a good year like
they are -- they have so many losses -- when you jump on them early
it's kind of hard to get back up. That's what we wanted to do and
it worked out pretty well."

Top reserve Mike Miller added 15 points for the Grizzlies, who
equaled their longest winning streak of the season and moved into a
tie with the Los Angeles Clippers for fifth place in the Western
Conference. Lorenzen Wright contributed 12 points and nine
rebounds.

The Grizzlies had plenty of help from the Knicks, who had 20
turnovers that led to 31 points. New York is last in the league in
that category, averaging 17.5 coming into Friday's game.

"At halftime I think out of 47 points, 27 of them came out of
either turnovers or second shots," Knicks coach Larry Brown said.
"And then in the third quarter, I think we were down 24, I looked
they had 28 points off turnovers and we had two. And I think that's
been the case all year."

Eddy Curry had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who
fell behind by double digits midway through the second quarter and
never threatened again as their latest losing streak reached four
games.

New York couldn't overcome its lowest-scoring first half during
one of its worst offensive performances of a dismal season. The
Knicks made only six field goals between the final 2 minutes of the
first quarter and the first 2 minutes of the third.

David Lee's basket with 1:17 to go allowed the Knicks to avoid
their lowest point total of the season. New York was held to 72 in
a 28-point loss at Dallas on Feb. 13.

The Knicks shot 54 percent and trailed by only four after one
quarter, but the Grizzlies quickly pulled away in the second.
Memphis opened the period with a 14-3 burst, opening a 36-21 lead
with 4:53 remaining in the half on a 3-pointer by Eddie Jones. New
York had five turnovers and one field goal during that stretch.

"We did a good job of forcing turnovers," Memphis coach Mike
Fratello said. "That was one of the big factors of the game, to
open up the lead there in the second quarter."

New York shot 5-for-18 (28 percent) in the second quarter and
Memphis took a 47-31 halftime lead. The Knicks' previous worst
first half this season was when they scored 33 points against
Detroit on Jan. 19.

Memphis didn't let up in the third quarter. Miller scored eight
points in the period, including consecutive 3-pointers as the lead
ballooned to 64-40 and sparked louder, more frequent boos from the
Madison Square Garden crowd.

Miller was the only Memphis reserve to score. But the bench
helped the Grizzlies, who allow 88.6 points per game to rank second
in the league, to break open the game. The Grizzlies held the
Knicks to 38 percent shooting.

"Our job is to come in there and try to increase the lead and
try to stabilize the lead that we have," Miller said. "We got it
going a little bit, but our defense was something that got it going
tonight."

With Brown again keeping most of his starters on the bench in
the fourth quarter, New York got as close as 83-70 with 4:23
remaining. But Fratello reinserted Shane Battier, who hit two free
throws and a follow dunk on the next two possessions to put away
the game.

Game notes
Knicks forward Channing Frye was in the locker room on
crutches, three days after a sprained knee ligament ended his solid
rookie season. "I definitely think it was successful," Frye said,
"any time you come and play for a team like this with a lot of
great talent, especially at the 4 and the 5, and get to play as
much as I did. Even though I had times where I just didn't put up
numbers, I felt like I did everything a lot better." ... The
Grizzlies also won six in a row from Nov. 25-Dec. 6. ... Knicks F
Qyntel Woods was not with the team because of flu-like symptoms.