The surging Grizzlies have won seven in a row, knocking off three of the top-ranked teams in the NBA this week. They beat the Heat convincingly last Sunday, defeated the Thunder in OKC on Wednesday and last night topped the previously-unbeaten Knicks. Now 7-1, their only loss to the Clippers in the season opener, Memphis has the best record in the league.
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November 16 Games
NYK@ MEM: As predicted, Zach Randolph (20 PTS, 15 REB) and Marc Gasol (24 PTS, 7 REB) were great up front, Mike Conley (16 PTS, 8 AST, 2 STL) was efficient and Rudy Gay (17 PTS, 4 BLK) had another good game. The Knicks, who might have been a little tired after a hard-fought win the night before in San Antonio, got 20 from Carmelo Anthony and 18 from Raymond Felton, but the biggest surprise was Rasheed Wallace (13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks) playing 24 minutes. That could be a trend until Amare Stoudemire returns.
PHO @ LAL: It wasn’t quite Showtime in Seven Seconds or Less. But the Lakers came out fast (35 first-quarter points) with Darius Morris (5 PTS, 6 AST) at PG and will be even better when Steve Nash (leg fracture) returns and new coach Mike D’Antoni puts in the rest of his stuff. Kobe Bryant had 31, Dwight Howard adding 18 points, 12 boards and 4 blocks. Pau Gasol (16 PTS, 10 REB, 2 BLK) was more involved and Metta World Peace knocked down five 3-pointers en route to a 22-point, 6-rebound, 3-steal line. Phoenix was led by Goran Dragic (22 PTS, 7 AST) and out of nowhere, Jermaine O’Neal (12 PTS, 5 REB, 3 BLK) played 20+ effective minutes.
UTA @ PHI: If I was a ‘real’ reporter covering the Jazz, I would have been full of post-game questions for coach Ty Corbin. Why Paul Millsap (22) played only 28:15 is a mystery. Why Utah never went to its big lineup (Millsap at SF and Derrick Favors at PF alongside Al Jefferson) is borderline incompetent; it was the one place they had a significant advantage. DeMarre Carroll had a career-high 17 off the bench, as Marvin Williams was awful (2 PTS in 22 minutes) but his coach had an even worse night. The Sixers were led by Jrue Holiday (26 PTS, 7 AST, 6 REB) and Jason Richardson (20 PTS, 8 REB) with some nice work off the bench by Lavoy Allen (10 PTS, 8 REB, 3 AST, 2 BLK) in relief of ineffective Kwame Brown. J-Rich played 35:30 and Dorell Wright just 5:18 — a big concern for Wright owners.