MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies took a horrendous start and turned it into one of the best comebacks in franchise history.
The Grizzlies began rebounding from a 25-point deficit in the second quarter, scored 20 unanswered points to start the third and defeated the Dallas Mavericks 90-84 on Wednesday night.
The reversal matched the largest comeback in franchise history. The Grizzlies also came from 25 down to win at Portland on March 25, 2002.
"It was unbelievable," Memphis point guard Mike Conley said. "I felt like we were floating above at another level. I've never seen us play so hard and do the things we were doing.
"It seemed like it was a blur, it happened so quick."
Zach Randolph scored 22 points and Marc Gasol added 21 as the Grizzlies stormed back to win their eighth straight, also matching a franchise-best. Quincy Pondexter finished with 12 and Austin Daye added 10, all in the first half, for Memphis. Gasol had 12 rebounds and Randolph 10 as Memphis outrebounded Dallas 46-34.
After giving up 38 points with poor defense in the first quarter, and seeing the Mavericks build the lead to 25 before halftime, Memphis outscored Dallas 71-46 in the final three quarters.
"It's a tough loss and a disappointing loss," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "We all own it, and that's the truth."
Shawn Marion led the Mavericks with 16 points, Elton Brand finished with 12 off the bench, and O.J. Mayo added 11, despite going 5 of 13 from the field. Dirk Nowitzki had 10 for Dallas, which dropped its third straight.
Trailing 51-26 with 5:25 to go in the second quarter halftime, the Grizzlies went on a 36-4 run spanning intermission, including the 20-0 rally to open the third quarter.
The Mavericks went more than 8 minutes to start the second half before Mayo split a pair of free throws for Dallas' first point in the quarter.
"They turned up their defensive pressure, and we didn't respond to it," Carlisle said of the rally. "We had four turnovers at the end of the first half that cut into our lead and gave them momentum. We did a poor job at the start of the third quarter, obviously."
Memphis would outscore Dallas 24-5 in the third as the Mavericks hit only two shots. The five points were a franchise low for a Memphis opponent in a quarter. The third-quarter tally meant Memphis had crafted a 40-9 run since the 25-point deficit in the second quarter.
"I just think the guys had more of a sense of urgency," Memphis guard Tony Allen said. "We put a collective effort into getting those stops and understanding what those guys were running.
"I thought (the Mavericks') legs got tired coming off a back-to-back. We were able to get the wind up under us, weather the storm and play Grizzlies basketball."
Memphis would stretch the advantage to nine near the 8-minute mark of the fourth. Dallas pushed back, and when Brand hit a 10-footer with 2:50 left, the Mavericks were within two at 80-78.
But Brand was called for a foul on Gasol, then a technical. Memphis hit all three of the ensuing free throws, and Dallas got no closer than five points the rest of the way.