Los Angeles: Guard Mike Conley finished with 19 points and nine assists as the Memphis Grizzlies managed to hold off a fourth quarter rally from the Utah Jazz for an 88-79 NBA win on Sunday.
Forward Zach Randolph came off the Grizzlies' bench in front of a crowd of 16,100 at the FedExForum to post a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
"I was really happy with the effort," Grizzlies coach David Fizdale said. "We gave it from start to finish."
The error-prone Jazz dropped to 23-16 on the season. They are first place in the Northeast Division and the Grizzlies are in third in the Southeast, but the Grizzlies (24-16) are in fifth overall in the Western Conference standings, one spot in front of Utah.
The Jazz committed 18 turnovers that Memphis turned into 26 points. Forward Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 22 points, George Hill tallied 15 and forward Trey Lyles chipped in 11 points off the bench.
The Jazz rallied from a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter to get within five at 82-77 with 69 seconds to play on a basket by guard Hill. But with 24 seconds left in the game, Jazz center Rudy Gobert fouled Memphis center Marc Gasol from behind the three-point line.
Gasol made all three free throws to boost the lead to 85-77 and Utah never got closer than six points.
"That is what they do," said Hayward. "They're good at it. They've got guys that pressure the ball and are good defenders, forcing you to do things you don't want to do at times and speed you up."
Memphis ended the third quarter on an 8-0 run that included back-to-back threes from guard Troy Daniels and veteran Vince Carter in the final four seconds. The Grizzlies led 63-51 going into the final quarter.
In Sacramento, the Golden State Warriors, who lost to the Grizzlies a day earlier, overcame a lackluster first half Sunday to avoid back-to-back losses with a 117-106 win over the Sacramento Kings.
The Warriors improved to 32-6 on the season as they rebounded from a 128-119 loss to Memphis Saturday in a game which saw them blow a 24-point lead.
Longest streak in history
Stephen Curry finished with 30 points and Kevin Durant added 28 on Sunday for the Warriors who have played 124 straight contests without losing consecutively, the longest streak in NBA history.
Klay Thompson finished with 18 points, and Zaza Pachulia scored 10, and the Warriors beat the Kings for the 13th straight time.
Draymond Green contributed nine points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.
Elsewhere, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Kevin Love combined for 80 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers blew a 20-point third-quarter lead but held on to defeat the host Phoenix Suns 120-116.
James had 12 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, including two three-pointers 25 seconds apart to stretch a two-point Cleveland edge to a 115-109 lead with 2:47 left.
Irving scored 27 points and Love added 25 points for Cleveland, which beat Phoenix for the fourth straight time.
The Cavaliers improved to 28-8 on the season and have won 15 of their last 18 games and have their best 36-game start since going 30-6 to start the 2008-09 season. Cleveland is 8-2 against the Western Conference.
Eric Bledsoe had 31 points and Devin Booker added 28 for the Suns, who missed a chance for their first three-game winning streak since November 2015.
Published Date: Jan 09, 2017 02:04 pm | Updated Date: Jan 09, 2017 02:04 pm