Balanced Grizzlies beat Hornets 96-85

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 9, 2013 at 11:13 pm •  Published: March 9, 2013
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In the key third quarter, the Hornets actually pulled even with the first six points of the second half, but they couldn't maintain the push.

"We tied it up, and then we just got sloppy," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "For whatever reason, we couldn't capitalize off of the momentum we had to tie the game."

After weathering the early New Orleans burst, Memphis stretched its halftime lead to as many as 14 near the 4-minute mark of the third. The Grizzlies built the lead on defense, as New Orleans connected on only five of its first 16 shots in the period and had three turnovers.

The Hornets were only 6 of 22 with four turnovers in the quarter.

Meanwhile, Allen was providing both an offensive and a defensive spark, scoring eight in the period. Memphis closed the third with an alley-oop to Bayless, then a 3-pointer from Conley.

That gave the Grizzlies a 78-60 lead entering the fourth, as Memphis outscored the Hornets 31-19. The Hornets could not cut the deficit under double digits in the fourth quarter.

Pondexter said the Grizzlies benefit from veteran defenders like Prince and Allen, plus the leadership of Conley and Gasol.

"These guys that have been in the league and are experienced, they help everybody stay focused," Pondexter said. "That's been the biggest change around here. Everyone is focused in trying to get the win. That's all we care about. No one cares about scoring 30, we just care about getting wins."

NOTES: Memphis F Zach Randolph missed his fourth straight game with a left ankle sprain. F Darrell Arthur sat out his third game with neck and back soreness suffered at Orlando last Sunday. . Anderson, who entered the game second in the league with 174 made 3-pointers, didn't hit one until just under 7 minutes were left in the game. He finished 1 for 5 from outside the arc. .The Hornets were 2 of 12 from beyond the arc, tying a season low for 3-pointers made in a game. .Vasquez has led or tied for the team lead in assists in all 63 Hornets games this season. . Memphis has now held 53 of 61 opponents under 100 points. . Conley had three steals, increasing his consecutive games streak with a steal to 52 straight. .At 42-19, the Grizzlies are 23 game above .500, matching the franchise best in games over .500. .The win was Hollins' 200th as an NBA head coach.