The NBA: Memphis Music

Rudy Gay and the Grizzlies are making good music
after winning 3 of their first 4 games.
(image by Jeffrey Phelps/AP)

Spanish center Marc Gasol had this to say after the Memphis Grizzlies won their third straight game, “Historically, we've had some slow starts, but, this year, we've come out a lot stronger."

No kidding.

The Grizzlies are fresh from a 108-90 trouncing of the Milwaukee Bucks thanks mainly to five Memphis players scoring in double-figures. Gasol was one of those players, finishing with a balanced line of 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. That comes as no surprise, of course, as Gasol, much like his older brother from LA, is considered one of the most versatile big men in the world. A man his size shouldn’t be able to have the footwork and the court vision that he does, but the thing is he has those qualities. He’s THAT good.

Even Milwaukee’s own star guard, Brandon Jennings, agrees.

“They are so big," Jennings said. "Gasol is so smart. Once he gets to the top of the key, he's able to make passes and shoot the jumper. If he doesn't have anything, he's just moving it.”

Tall praise for a tall guy, but Jennings did say “They,” right? That’s because Gasol isn’t the only big weapon in Memphis’s arsenal.

The other big guy doing the damage is Gasol’s frontcourt partner, Zach Randolph.

Of him, Jennings had this to say, “Randolph down there is just a beast."

Simple. Succinct.

Randolph tallied 18 points and 13 rebounds. He has finished with a double-double in each of the Grizzlies’ four games so far.

Again, he’s a beast.

Rudy Gay, Mike Conley, and super sub Marreese Speights also broke through the twin digit barrier, scoring 17, 13, and 18 points respectively.

"We just played really well," said Memphis Coach Lionel Hollins. "We shot the ball well. We shot threes well… We withstood all they had tonight.”

So far, even after suffering a loss on their first playdate, the Grizzlies have shown they can, indeed, withstand almost anything.

Randolph currently leads the league in rebounds with 16.0 per outing. Gasol and Gay are having strong starts, combining for 38.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 2.5 rejections per game. Mike Conley is playing at a really high level, too, with 14.3ppg, 7.0apg, and 2.3spg.

The next two games for the Grizz will be tough. They host Houston on Saturday (Manila time) and then the defending champion Miami Heat two days after. It’s going to be an uphill climb for Memphis to get a foothold in the Playoff race, but if their stars keep up their high level of play, then there’s nothing coming out of the River City but good music.

Note: Many renowned musicians have come out of Memphis. Foremost of which are Elvis Presley, BB King, Johnny Cash, and, of course, Justin Timberlake.

Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network):
Phoenix 117, Charlotte 110
Shannon Brown hit six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 24 points, as the Phoenix Suns took a 117-110 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday. Michael Beasley and Marcin Gortat each posted double-doubles with 21 points and 15 rebounds and 23 points and 10 rebounds, respectively, for the Suns, who had dropped their previous two games. Byron Mullens had 24 points and eight rebounds, Ramon Sessions had 17 points and nine assists and Kemba Walker finished the game with 17 points and eight helpers for the Bobcats, who have dropped their past two games.

Shannon Brown shot the lights out in the
fourth period as Phoenix downed Charlotte.
(image by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Atlanta 89, Indiana 86
Al Horford scored a team-high 16 points and Jeff Teague poured in 15 to lead the Atlanta Hawks to an 89-86 win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. The Hawks trailed 83-69 with 6:34 to play, but used an 18-0 run to pull ahead 87-83 with 32.7 seconds left. Teague buried a 3-pointer at the 1:04 mark to give Atlanta the lead at 85-83. Teague's running jumper gave the Hawks a four-point advantage, but Lance Stephenson came back with a 3-ball to pull within 87-86 and the Hawks called a quick timeout. Josh Smith found Lou Williams out of the timeout and the undersized guard slammed it home to put Atlanta up three. Paul George's 3-pointer was off-target and David West's putback was blocked by Horford and the Hawks held on for the win.

Boston 100, Washington 94 (OT)
Behind double-doubles and stifling defense late from Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo, the Boston Celtics defeated the Washington Wizards in overtime, 100-94, at TD Garden to complete a home- and-home sweep. Garnett, who tallied 20 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and a steal, grabbed a huge board off a Chris Singleton miss in overtime and outletted to Rondo, who found Brandon Bass underneath the basket for an uncontested dunk to all but seal the victory. Rondo posted his fourth-straight double-double with 18 points and 14 assists, while Pierce totaled 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who have beaten the Wizards in the last six meetings. Martell Webster and Kevin Seraphin scored 16 points apiece for the Wizards, but each had costly turnovers late in the fourth quarter. Rookie Bradley Beal also contributed 16 points in the loss for the Wizards, who are still in search of their first win through three games.

Miami 103, Brooklyn 73
Before the Miami Heat embark on an upcoming two- week, six-game road swing, they had to take care of business in the finale of a brief homestand against the Brooklyn Nets. They did just that for the 10th straight time. LeBron James was two assists away from a triple-double in the Heat's 103-73 rout of the Nets. James tallied 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight helpers, while Dwyane Wade added 22 points for Miami, which swept its three- game homestand. The defending NBA champions have won 16 of their last 18 games in South Beach dating back to last season. The road trip starts Friday in Atlanta with their next home tilt not until Nov. 21 against Milwaukee. Deron Williams scored 14 points, but turned the ball over seven times for the Nets, who shot just 37.5 percent (30-of-80) from the floor and 14.3 percent (3- of-21) from beyond the arc.

Denver 93, Houston 87
Ty Lawson scored a game-high 21 points and handed out eight assists on Wednesday, as the Denver Nuggets knocked off the Houston Rockets, 93-87, at Toyota Center. Kenneth Faried recorded a double- double with 16 points and 16 rebounds, while Corey Brewer chipped in 14 points off the bench for the Nuggets, who have won two straight after dropping their first three games of the season. Carlos Delfino led Houston with 19 points and Patrick Patterson followed with 18 points for the Rockets, who have lost two straight since opening the season with back-to-back victories. James Harden entered the game averaging a league-high 35.3 points per game, but finished with just 15 points and turned the ball over six times in the setback.

Memphis 108, Milwaukee 90
Zach Randolph posted a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 108-90 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Marreese Speights contributed 18 points and nine boards off the bench for the Grizzlies, who have won three straight since a season- opening loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Rudy Gay added 17 points in Memphis' fourth consecutive win in the series. Brandon Jennings paced the Bucks with a game-high 19 points, while Monta Ellis supplied 15 points and seven assists. Milwaukee was aiming to open 3-0 for the first time since 2005-06.

Tony Allen's gritty play helped Memphis
overcome the Milwaukee Bucks.
(image by Jeffrey Phelps/AP)

Minnesota 90, Orlando 75
Luke Ridnour netted a game-high 19 points and pulled down five rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves easily handled the Orlando Magic, 90-75, on Wednesday at the Target Center. Derrick Williams scored 14 points and ripped down six rebounds, while Greg Stiemsma added 12 points and five boards for the Timberwolves, who improved to 3-1 on the young season. Nikola Pekovic and Chase Budinger laced 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the victory. JJ Redick put in 16 points and Arron Afflalo added 12 points in the loss for the Magic, who had a seven-game winning streak against Minnesota snapped. Andrew Nicholson contributed 11 points in the setback.

Philadelphia 77, New Orleans 62
Jrue Holiday posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 assists and Evan Turner added 14 points and eight rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 77-62 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday. Thaddeus Young also notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards and Lavoy Allen chipped in with 12 points for the Sixers, who bounced back from back-to-back losses to the Knicks. Spencer Hawes added 11 points, six rebounds and three blocks in the win. Al-Farouq Aminu scored a team high 10 points and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds and Ryan Anderson donated nine points and 10 boards for the Hornets, who were without rookies Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers.

Dallas 109, Toronto 104
Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo combined for 44 points on Wednesday and the Dallas Mavericks hung on to defeat the Toronto Raptors, 109-104, at American Airlines Center. Kaman finished with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Mayo netted 22 to go with five rebounds and six assists for the Mavericks, who improved to 4-1 on the season. Vince Carter dropped 17 points on his former team and Brandon Wright added 12 points in the triumph. Andrea Bargnani ended his night with a game-high 25 points and nine rebounds, while DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points with six rebounds and seven assists for the Raptors, who played without Kyle Lowry due to an ankle injury. Amir Johnson chipped in with 18 points and 11 boards in the setback.

Utah 95, LA Lakers 86
Randy Foye scored a team-high 17 points off the bench for the Jazz, who defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 93-86, on Wednesday. Foye caught fire in the fourth, draining four 3-pointers in the period, and Al Jefferson posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards for the Jazz, who snapped a three-game skid. Mo Williams, who has led Utah in scoring over the first four games, scored 16 on 8-of-13 shooting and dished out seven assists in the victory. Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 29 points and Dwight Howard added 19 points and nine boards for the Lakers, who were coming off their first win of the season against the Pistons after dropping their first three.

Sacramento 105, Detroit 103
DeMarcus Cousins scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, as the Kings held off the Pistons and kept them winless with a 105-103 victory at Sleep Train Arena. Seven Kings scored in double figures, with Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas each chipping in 15 points. Jason Thompson added 13 points and Jimmer Fredette netted 12, including two big free throws down the stretch for Sacramento, which has won two straight after going 0-3 on the road to start the season. Detroit, which was led by Greg Monroe's first career triple-double, fell to 0-5 for the second time in three years. Monroe totaled 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in the setback.

Golden State 106, Cleveland 96
David Lee filled the box score with 22 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three steals, leading the Golden State Warriors to a healthy 106-96 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Stephen Curry chipped in 21 points and six helpers, Carl Landry donated 19 points off the bench and Harrison Barnes added 14 for the Warriors, who have alternated wins and losses over their first five games. Cleveland, trying to build off a big road win against the Clippers on Monday, allowed Golden State to shoot 54 percent from the floor. Kyrie Irving had four of the Cavs' 11 makes from behind the arc and finished with 28 points, seven assists and six boards in the loss.

David Lee and rookie Harrison Barnes were big as
the Warriors beat the visiting Cavs.
(image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

LA Clippers 106, San Antonio 84
Blake Griffin recorded a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds on Wednesday, as the Los Angeles Clippers steamrolled the San Antonio Spurs, 106-84, at Staples Center. DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul each registered a double-double as well, as Jordan tallied 20 points and 11 boards and Paul finished with 10 points and 12 assists for the Clippers, who were swept by the Spurs in the second round of the playoffs last season. Danny Green scored a team-high 12 points, while Tim Duncan added 10 points and six rebounds as the Spurs took their first loss of the season after opening the year with four consecutive victories.

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