squeak past Pistons
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[January 15, 2016]
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- In Detroit in
December, the Memphis Grizzlies won with a half-court heave from forward
Matt Barnes with 1.1 second left in the game. Thursday night at
FedExForum, it was point guard Mario Chalmers picking up a loose ball
and firing an off-balance 15-footer with 00.8 left on the clock for a
"My game-winner was better," Barnes said loud enough for Chalmers to
While Barnes had a great shooting night on Thursday, scoring 18
points while going 6-for-6 from 3-point range, it was Chalmers who
carried the Grizzlies with 25 points and eight assists, again
starting in place of the injured Mike Conley.
"Kudos to management for getting Mario Chalmers," said Memphis coach
Dave Joerger, referring to the four-player deal in November that
that brought Chalmers in from Miami. "Good trade."
The Grizzlies were down 101-96 after Detroit rookie forward Stanley
Johnson (19 points) hit his fifth 3-pointer of the night with 3:07
to play. But Chalmers scored the Grizzlies' last seven points and
had nine points and two assists in the fourth quarter and also
finished with four steals.
For the fourth time in the last five games, he played 39 or more
"It's what you're born to do," Chalmers said. "My number's being
called with Mike being out."
For the Pistons, the end of this game was all too familiar given
what happened in December.
"The half-court shot and that play right there, we had mistakes
prior to that," Johnson said. "You can't focus on that play."
Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy agreed the losses to the Grizzlies were
"tough," but added, "They're all tough. Any loss is tough. I haven't
found one that isn't tough."
Memphis (22-19) shot 48.7 percent from the floor and, though 28th in
the NBA in 3-point shooting, went 9 of 16 for 56.3 percent from long
range. Detroit (21-18) shot 51.4 percent from the field and hit 15
of 32 shots from distance for 46.9 percent.
Center Marc Gasol scored 19 points, had five rebounds, four assists,
three blocks and two steals for the Grizzlies. Forward Jeff Green
had 16 bench points and power forward Zach Randolph chipped in 13
Johnson scored 11 of his points in the fourth quarter and knocked
down three of his five 3s in the last quarter. Forward Ersan
Ilyasova scored 17 points with nine rebounds, forward Marcus Morris
finished with 12 points, five assists and four rebounds but made six
turnovers. Center Andre Drummond had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
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Memphis achieved its game-high 13-point lead at the 10:26 mark in
the fourth quarter as Green hit a pair of free throws. But the
Pistons then went on a 23-2 run and took a 96-88 lead with 5:42 to
go. Detroit hit five treys during the run. The Grizzlies had led
79-71 going into the fourth quarter but that lead went away quick.
"We got a little careless offensively," Gasol said. "Defensively, we
were a step slow every time."
The New York Knicks come to FedExForum this Saturday night and given
the preseason altercation between Barnes and Knicks coach Derek
Fisher at the home of Barnes' ex-wife -- it resulted in the NBA
suspending Barnes for two games -- there is much anticipation.
"It kind of is what it is," Barnes said. "I know I gotta keep my
mouth shut because he'll run and tell. When I'm retired, him and I
will cross paths again."
NOTES: Memphis F Jeff Green did not a play a minute in the second
half of Tuesday's loss to Houston. Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger
appeared exasperated with Green's lack of defense during the game
and Green has been less productive as a starter than PF Zach
Randolph has been playing off the bench. Randolph replaced Green in
the starting lineup Thursday. Asked before the game about plans for
Green, Joerger said. "He'll still play his minutes. Sometimes as a
coach, you try to jolt somebody."... Detroit has two of the top six
players in the NBA in minutes per game this season: G Kentavious
Caldwell-Pope is third at 37.7 and F Marcus Morris is sixth at 36.3.
... San Antonio beat Detroit on Tuesday, snapping the Pistons'
three-game winning streak. Detroit has had three or more consecutive
wins four times this season. ... Grizzlies PG Mike Conley sat out
with a sore left Achilles tendon.
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