Wright, Hawes lead Sixers past Grizzlies 99-89

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 26, 2012 at 11:09 pm •  Published: December 26, 2012
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The Sixers, who trailed by 10 points in the second quarter, rallied for a 49-47 halftime lead as Wright had 13 points, including 2 of 4 from outside the arc.

Philadelphia scored the final eight points of the half to erase a six-point Memphis lead.

"We had the nice finish to go up two at the half," Collins said, later adding: "We made some big shots to give us momentum going into the half, and we took the halftime lead, which I thought was very important."

The real burst came from Hawes entering the game. Gasol had scored 12 first-quarter points against Lavoy Allen. Hawes not only shut down Gasol, but added 11 points, hitting 5 of 7 shots, part of the Sixers connecting at a 50 percent clip in the first half.

"It was something we knew we needed coming in," Hawes said of matching the Grizzlies duo of Randolph and Gasol. "Playing against a frontline like them, that's as good a 1-2 punch in the frontcourt as you are going to see. They had a little bit of a size, maybe a bit of girth, advantage, but I thought we could match that and counter that with being active and long."

Collins said the Sixers knew Memphis was going to pound the ball inside to open the second half, but Philadelphia was able to withstand the Grizzlies push. The teams remained close though the third period as Wright continued to connect, and the score was tied at 64 after Conley made a 3-pointer for Memphis.

The Sixers, who were maintaining a 50-percent shooting touch, were able to use a late mini-rally to carry a 75-70 lead into the fourth period.

Philadelphia extended its lead to 83-73 with consecutive 3-pointers from Royal Ivey and Young and a baseline jumper from Hawes.

Memphis brought the bulk of its starting lineup back at that point, but it didn't stop the Sixers rally. The lead would eventually reach 15 points on Ivey's second 3-pointer of the period with just under 8 minutes to play.

"We just had no energy," Randolph said of the Grizzlies. "We played hard, but couldn't run anymore. We didn't get stops. . They had open jump shots all night. It's a combination of them playing well and taking advantage of us."

NOTES: NASCAR Nationwide series driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who lives south of Memphis in Olive Branch, Miss., attended the game and participated in tricycle race with a fan during a first-half timeout. Stenhouse won. ... In three games against the Grizzlies in his career, Evan Turner entered the game with a total of 12 points. He scored one Wednesday night. ... The Sixers previous high for blocks this season was 11 at Cleveland on Nov. 21. ... The Sixers were playing the second game of an eight-game road trip.

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