Grizzlies rally from deep hole to beat Warriors in OT
Los Angeles (AFP)
The Memphis Grizzlies completed a dramatic comeback with a dominating overtime performance to beat the two time defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors for the second time this season.
Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph combined for four baskets on Memphis' first four possessions of overtime as the Grizzlies rallied from a 24 point deficit in the third quarter to win 128-119.
"We just kept fighting," Randolph said. "Our leaders had great games. "I am in my prime. I feel good. I am doing what is best for my team."
Mike Conley nailed a clutch jump shot with seven seconds left in regulation to tie the score for the Grizzlies who were also down by 18 points with 7:47 left in the fourth.
The Grizzlies, who outscored the Warriors 32-13 in the fourth quarter, dominated the overtime, using the four hoops by Gasol and Randolph to build a lead they never relinquished.
Conley and Randolph had 27 points apiece and Gasol added 23 for Memphis, who won for the second time this season over Golden State. The Grizzlies also won in resounding fashion 110-89 on December 10 in Memphis.
Stephen Curry had a game-high 40 points for the Warriors who lost just their sixth game of the season to go with 31 wins.
The Grizzlies have struggled defensively of late. Heading into Friday night's contest they had lost four of six, allowing 112 or more points in each of the defeats.
"It has been a tough stretch. This win should give us confidence. We have to continue what we are doing," Randolph said.
- Wizards beat Timberwolves -
Elsewhere, John Wall tallied 18 points and had a season-high 18 assists as the Washington Wizards survived a 41-point performance from Andrew Wiggins with a 112-105 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 22 points as Washington won its ninth straight home game.
Marcin Gortat went nine of nine from the field for 19 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. The Wizards shot 58 percent from the field for a much needed win after losing two games during a brief road trip.
Wiggins posted his second 40-point game of the season, but his team squandered a lead after three quarters and all his hard work was lost.
"We're finding different ways to (lose)," Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said. "It's disappointing."
In New York, Kyrie Irving hit two clutch three-pointers early in the fourth quarter as the Cleveland Cavaliers blew most of a 24-point lead before pulling out a 116-108 victory over Brooklyn.
"I got to be ready for anything," Irving said. "I was really starting to get (ticked) off. The momentum was shifting. We had a few opportunities at the rim. We got a few in and outs. We weren't executing plays.
"As the point guard, I take full responsibility for that. So, going into that fourth, it started with me."
LeBron James scored 29 of his 36 points in the first three quarters and was resting when Irving came through to stave off a Brooklyn comeback after Cleveland allowed the first 11 points of the fourth.
Irving returned from missing the previous three games due a tight right hamstring and finished with 32 points, including the first 12 of the fourth quarter.
He scored Cleveland's first points of the fourth at the foul line and then a long jumper, two three-pointers and a layup to push the lead to 98-82 with under eight minutes remaining.
In Boston, Al Horford made up for a lackluster first three quarters by scoring 14 points in the fourth, including a clutch three pointer with 17 seconds left as the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 110-106.
© 2017 AFP