MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies had their new chairman and boss sitting at midcourt for the home opener along with a nice big crowd.
Talk about pressure.
The Grizzlies came out wanting to make a good impression all around only to struggle with some cold shooting early. Eventually, Zach Randolph finished with 16 points and 18 rebounds, Marc Gasol added 22 points and Memphis capped a day of celebration by beating the Utah Jazz 103-94 Monday night.
"Oh yeah, we was amped up, especially myself," said Randolph, who missed his first six shots. "Real amped up. Anytime home opener in front of your crowd you want to come out and do good and have a lot of energy. Some guys had too much energy like me."
Mike Conley added 16 points, Rudy Gay had 15 and Quincy Pondexter 14 for Memphis, which won its second straight this season after opening up with two games in California. Gasol also had eight assists and eight rebounds, helping the Grizzlies outrebound Utah 51-42.
"We just wanted to go out and play Grizzlies basketball and be physical," Conley said. "At the end of the day, we ended up winning the game."
With NBA commissioner David Stern on hand, the Grizzlies also picked up where they left off last season by winning their 12th straight regular season game and extending their franchise record. They haven't lost at home in regulation since the Jazz beat them Feb. 12.
Gordon Hayward led Utah with 19 points, 13 in the first half. Mo Williams added 17 points, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors each had 14. The Jazz have lost three straight road games since beating Dallas in their own home opener, and coach Tyrone Corbin called it disappointing.
"We were able to be in all three games and had opportunities to win them, and just couldn't finish them off," Corbin said. "Even tonight, we had a stretch where we were right there. We had a lead at halftime, and started the third quarter off relatively good. We had a six-point lead and they made a run. ... We just have to grow and learn from it and continue to get better."
The Jazz started quickly and led by as much as 19-7. They led 25-18 at the end of the first quarter and 50-47 at halftime when Williams hit a 3 a second before the buzzer.
Memphis finally got going in the third quarter with a 16-2 run, turning up the defense with Gay blocking a shot by Millsap. Randolph hit a 6-foot turnaround jumper, then tied it up at 59 with a layup. Pondexter banked in a 7-footer to put the Grizzlies ahead. Al Jefferson hit a 6-foot jumper to tie it for Utah for the last time at 61-all with 4:23 left.