Grizzlies beat Magic to claim West's No. 4 seed

Associated Press Modified: April 26, 2012 at 11:31 pm •  Published: April 26, 2012
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies continue to set new franchise standards as they gear up for the playoffs.

With Thursday night's 88-76 win over the short-handed Orlando Magic, Memphis grabbed the Western Conference's fourth seed and will have homecourt advantage in the opening round — the first time in team history the Grizzlies have enjoyed such a lofty postseason start.

"It's a big accomplishment from a historical perspective," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "I told the players it means nothing except that we get the first two games at home. ... We have to go play and we have to go out and win."

Marc Gasol scored 22 points and Rudy Gay added 20 to lead the Grizzlies, whose best previous seed for the playoffs was fifth in 2006. The Grizzlies, who also matched a franchise-best 11 straight home wins, will open the postseason Sunday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, who dropped to the fifth seed with the Memphis victory.

"We're going to play here. We don't have to go anywhere," Gay said. "It's easier on our bodies. We have time to prepare here. And it's big for the city. It's good to have this for the city."

O.J. Mayo had 15 points and Zach Randolph, returning to the starting lineup, finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds for Memphis, which won its sixth straight and 11th in 13 games.

Hedo Turkoglu, playing for the first time in 10 games because of a facial fracture, led the Magic with 18 points, hitting 7 of 13 shots. Justin Harper scored 16 points and Von Wafer added 11, although he was 4 of 13 from the field.

"It was OK," Turkoglu said of his return. "Of course, I was winded a little bit at the beginning. But once I got up and down a little bit, I was feeling better."

The Magic rested all their starters after earning the No. 6 seed in the East. They will travel to Indiana for their first round series against the third-seeded Pacers beginning Saturday.

"It's a really quick turnaround," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We don't have much preparation time. Some of the guys that we need to play had to play minutes (against Memphis), so we'll really have to think about how much we can do. You are not going to be able to go crazy in terms of adjustments for Game 1 because you don't have much time."

The Grizzlies made sure early they were staying home for the opening two playoff games. Memphis scored the first eight points of the game, had a 27-9 lead after one and built the advantage to as many as 24 before carrying a 54-30 lead into the break.

"It was just a terrible start," Van Gundy said. "In the first quarter, we were inept. So, it was a bad start. From there, I thought we got a little better."

Gay was 6 of 8 from the field, his only two misses coming from outside the arc, for 15 points in the first half, while Gasol had 12 points.

No Orlando player was in double figures, Harper leading the Magic with nine points.

The Magic were limited to 35-percent shooting while committing 10 turnovers, leading to 17 Memphis points. That shooting percentage included missing 11 of 13 from 3-point range.

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