Conley, Gasol lead Grizzlies over Bulls

Send a link to a friend  Share

[March 16, 2017]  CHICAGO -- Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol looked as if he might be in for a long night after he missed five of his first six shots Wednesday night.

But Gasol refused to hang his head, and his teammates followed his example. The 7-foot-1 Spaniard finished with 27 points, including 19 in the second half, and Memphis held on for a 98-91 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

"You just keep shooting, taking the shots you have, and keep trusting your shots," Gasol said with a smile. "Hopefully, they're going to go in, eventually."

Gasol added seven assists, six rebounds and a blocked shot without committing a turnover in 37 minutes. Mike Conley matched Gasol for the team high with 27 points on 8-for-12 shooting.

"We're going to go through those guys," said Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, who scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds. "They try to make the right play all the time, but we want those guys to be more selfish than anything. When they've got their one-two going, you've just got to fall in line."

The talented duo represents the Grizzlies' best hope of making a run in the Western Conference playoffs. Memphis (38-30) has won two back-to-back games after losing its previous five in a row.

Meanwhile, another loss left Chicago (32-36) on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff picture. The Bulls fell short for the sixth time in their past seven contests.

Rajon Rondo led Chicago with 17 points, six rebounds, eight assists and zero turnovers. Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic added 14 points apiece in a losing effort.

Guard Dwyane Wade headed to the locker room in the fourth quarter. After the game, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Wade sprained his right elbow and would undergo an MRI exam in the morning. The severity of the sprain is not known.

"It's tough," Butler said of Wade's absence in the final minutes. "We need everybody right now, especially that guy. If he's injured, it's an unfortunate part of the game. We'll want him back as soon as possible."

The Grizzlies finished the game on a 15-8 run to even the season series at one win apiece. Gasol helped to put the Bulls out of reach when he drained a 3-pointer from the left wing to make it 96-89 with 1:12 to go.

The shot followed a terrific, fadeaway jump shot by Gasol about two minutes earlier. The Grizzlies' big man eclipsed 20 points for the 32nd time this season.

"It was good to see Marc have a real complete game again where he's doing everything for us," Grizzlies coach David Fizdale said. "Defending, letting the 3-ball go, posting -- he had a real versatile game tonight."

[to top of second column]

Bulls guard Rajon Rondo (9) center Robin Lopez (8) and Memphis Grizzlies guard Andrew Harrison (5) go for the ball during the second half at the United Center. The Grizzlies won 98-91. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago erased a 14-point deficit in the second half to even the score at 80 with 5:46 remaining. Mirotic drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to punctuate the Bulls' comeback bid.

Hoiberg said his team shined with a 21-2 advantage in fast-break points but needed to do more in its set offense against Memphis.

"They really made it a slugfest in the half court," Hoiberg said. "I thought they got every loose ball."

Memphis entered the fourth quarter with a 74-71 edge. Gasol scored eight consecutive points for the Grizzlies late in the third quarter to help establish the lead. Butler capped the third-quarter scoring with a slam dunk off of a remarkable alley-oop pass from behind half court by Rondo.

Memphis led 54-50 at the end of a back-and-forth first half that included 11 ties and three lead changes. Conley finished the first half with 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the final six minutes.

"We're getting there," Fizdale said. "I like the way our defense is starting to come back to us. But I'm never going to get comfortable with our group. They haven't been consistent enough to show me that I can let off the gas now."

NOTES: Grizzlies F Chandler Parsons missed his second consecutive game because of a partial meniscus tear in his left knee. The sixth-year veteran might require season-ending surgery. He is averaging 6.2 points and 2.5 rebounds this season. ... Bulls G Cameron Payne did not play because of a right foot injury. Payne shot only 33.9 percent from the field in nine games since Chicago acquired him from Oklahoma City on Feb. 23. ... Memphis made 11 shots from beyond the arc to set a franchise record for 3-pointers in a season with (627). The previous franchise record was 620, set by the 2007-08 Grizzlies. ... Bulls G Dwyane Wade scored eight points on 3-for-11 shooting before he went to the locker room in the fourth quarter because of a sprained right elbow.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Back to top