8:00 PM ET, March 30, 2011
FedExForum, Memphis, TN
8:00 PM ET, March 30, 2011
FedExForum, Memphis, TN
With Allen scoring, rebounding and encouraging the Memphis faithful to their feet, the Grizzlies erased the double-digit deficit and left not only with a 110-91 victory over the Warriors on Wednesday night, but a tighter hold on their playoff hopes.
"[Coach Lionel Hollins] told us we just weren't playing hard at all," Allen said of Hollins' ranting about energy before the second-half rally. "He told us we needed to step it up a notch on the defensive end, and that's what we did.
"We put on our hard hats in the second half."
Allen scored 21 points while helping reverse Memphis' lackadaisical first-half effort. He added eight rebounds and four assists as Memphis not only won its fifth straight at home, but assured the Grizzlies (42-33) of their first winning season since 2005-06, the last time the team made the playoffs.
"I tell him to concentrate more on defense and less on offense," Hollins said of his conversations with the sometimes aloof Allen. "I think that some nights the opportunities are there. He slashes. There were a lot of transition buckets. There were a lot of times when the lane was open, and he just drove and beat his man to the basket."
Mike Conley and Zach Randolph scored 20 apiece, with Conley also recording seven assists. Randolph had 13 rebounds and six assists. Coupled with Houston's 108-97 loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday night, the Grizzlies now have a three-game buffer on the Rockets.
After the game, the Memphis locker room was intently watching the end of New Orleans' 95-91 victory over Portland. That left the Hornets and Trail Blazers tied for the sixth spot, only a game ahead of Memphis.
Monta Ellis and Dorell Wright each had 16 points as Golden State lost its eighth straight on the road. David Lee had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Vladimir Radmanovic had 11 points, all in the first half.
"I think because we are a team that is still growing, you have to understand how to win on the road and how to win in tough buildings and tough environments," Warriors coach Keith Smart said. "And how to win when you are tired and banged up at this time of the year.
"This is all a learning stage for us."
Ellis left the floor near the end of the game with a sprained right ankle. X-rays were negative and he is listed as day-to-day.
"Hopefully, he's OK," Smart said. "He's done a fabulous job for us all season long. Hopefully, everything checks out."
Stephen Curry was 2 of 14 from the field and 1 of 6 outside the arc for the Warriors, finishing with only six points. He did have nine assists, but a half-dozen turnovers.
Golden State, second in the league in 3-point shooting at 39.4 percent, was 6 of 21 from outside the arc (28.6 percent).
"Tony Allen's out there anchoring the defense," Curry said. "They all work together and move well. They clog the paint, and when you get in the lane, it's tough to finish. They've got some big guys down there. We weren't making our shots on that outside, and that cost us."
Meanwhile, Memphis, which leads the league in points in the paint, held an advantage there 76-50 and helped the Grizzlies shoot a season-best 56.5 percent on 48-of-85 shooting from the field.
Radmanovic led a rally by the Warriors bench to overtake an early eight-point Memphis lead. While the rest of the Warriors had misfired on their first six 3-pointers, Radmanovic was perfect on his initial three.
The Warriors were coming off an overtime loss at Oklahoma City on Tuesday night, but the Grizzlies were the ones who looked a tad sluggish in the half, getting beat on the boards and not forcing turnovers -- two keys to their success.
The Grizzlies had a handful of steals in the third quarter -- three by Allen, who scored 10 points in the period. Memphis used the energy to reverse Golden State's momentum and ended the quarter up 79-72. The Grizzlies then extended the lead to as many as 19 in the fourth quarter.
"[Hollins] definitely let us play through it," Randolph said of the early lack of energy. "We got it going. Tony got us going on the defensive end with his energy, and we started playing the game we know how to play.
"We definitely were a little lethargic when we came out, but we definitely picked it up toward the end."
After the Warriors took their 10-point lead early in the second half, Memphis outscored Golden State 62-33 the rest of the way.
"They were dragging a little bit," Hollins said of the Warriors. "It's late in the season. I always say when you start putting pressure on teams that are near or out of the playoffs, you tend to find out if they'll fight, and most nights they don't.
"They didn't have enough fight. It's a long season, and they were losing and tired from a game [Tuesday] night. We just did what we had to do."
|FGM-FGA||39-83 (.470)||48-85 (.565)|
|3PM-3PA||6-21 (.286)||2-4 (.500)|
|FTM-FTA||7-11 (.636)||12-19 (.632)|
|Fast Break Points||16||19|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (0/0)||12 (2/0)|