MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Small by tiny, a smaller lineup is lifting the Memphis Grizzlies.
Marc Gasol had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Mike Conley completed with 18 points and 11 assists, as well as the Grizzlies beat the Washington Wizards 112-95 on Monday night.
Memphis has gone to a smaller lineup the last two games, meaning the removal of veterans Zach Randolph and Tony Allen in the starting 5. When the Grizzlies blew a late lead Sunday night within a 100-97 loss in Miami, this functionality was an instance from the possibilities.
”It was the kind of game where we played really hard and really well,” Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. ”We played for 48 minutes, and we haven’t played in the lead a lot this year.”
Washington’s only lead was a one-point edge in the first quarter. Memphis led by double digits the entire second half.
The Wizards are final in the NBA in 3-pointers allowed at 10.45 a game, plus the Grizzlies benefited from that, shooting 56 percent overall and 10 for 15 on 3s.
That caught the attention of Wizards coach Randy Wittman, who was disappointed in his team’s defense.
”Until we get a commitment to defend … we’re going to be on this (click here to buy NBA 2k16 MT) roller coaster,” he said.
”Right now, our mindset is to outscore people. Our team isn’t made that way,” he said.
Matt Barnes scored 20 points for the Grizzlies and shot 4 for 5 on 3s. Courtney Lee and Jeff Green completed with 15 points each and Mario Chalmers had 12.
In the two games since the lineup change, Memphis has shot (vist www.nbamtcoin.com) almost 59 percent in the field.
”Guys are moving, setting screens, but we still have to play our pace,” Gasol said. ”We’ve got to get used to (the offensive change), adapt and we’ve got to play.”
Gary Neal led the Wizards with 24 points. John Wall, the team’s leading scorer at over 20 per game, shot 2 of 11 and had six points.
View gallery MEMPHIS, TN – DECEMBER 14: Kelly Oubre Jr. #12 from the Washington Wizards goes for the lay up against…
Washington has lost three of four.
Memphis began the day shooting just 31 percent on 3s, and improved on that mark.
”(The Grizzlies) were shooting very well,” said Wizards center Marcin Gortat, who had 10 points and nine rebounds. ”They made a lot of 3s, so I have no explanation.”
Wizards: Bradley Beal missed his third game with stress reaction in right leg. Beal’s career high 37 points came last season at Memphis. … F Otto Porter, who had a career-high 28 points in Washington’s victory over Dallas on Saturday, had two points.
Grizzlies: Conley’s 11 assists matched his season high. … Conley recorded his second double-double, although Gasol has six this season. … Memphis, which lost at Miami on Sunday evening, is now 6-1 on the second nights of back-to backs.
JOB SECURITY: Before the game, Joerger characterized reports that his job was in jeopardy as ”silliness.”
”In our society something is written (on social media) … and all of a sudden it creates a life of its own from some source.” After fielding several questions on the matter, he closed with a laugh saying: ”I think I was good. I could go some more. What’s everybody getting all stressed for?”
HITTING A WALL: Wall had scored at least (come to nbamtcoin) 26 points in 5 straight games, but after going 2 for 6 in the field in the first quarter, he didn’t score again. He missed all five of his shots in the second and third periods and, like most on the Wizards starters, didn’t play the fourth. His six points were a season low. ”Anytime John Wall takes 11 shots and seven of them are 3s, that’s not who he is,” Wittman said. ”He’s been playing at a pretty high level coming into (Monday), and that ratio is not very good for us.”
Wizards: Visit San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
Grizzlies: Visit Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.