Grizzlies break magic spell of wounded Wizards | Inquirer Sports

Grizzlies break magic spell of wounded Wizards

/ 01:04 PM March 04, 2014

Memphis Grizzlies forward Tayshaun Prince (21). AP FILE PHOTO

WASHINGTON—Trying for their longest win streak in nine years, the Washington Wizards found the absence of two top forwards more than they could overcome, falling 110-104 Monday to Memphis.

Tayshaun Prince scored 21 points and Mike Conley added 20 to lead the Grizzlies while Zach Randolph had 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds to snap the Wizards’ six-game win streak.

Memphis dominated inside partly because Washington was without Brazilian big man Nene, who suffered a left knee injury last week, and small forward Martell Webster, who has a back injury.

FEATURED STORIES

“If we had had one more player, we would have been better,” Wizards’ center Marcin Gortat of Poland said.

“We’re not going to make a drama because we lost. It’s not a super big deal. We can’t get discouraged. We’re still a good team. We have to bring our game, bring the focus.”

Memphis closed the third quarter on a 17-2 run for a 79-64 edge but the Wizards answered with their top-scoring fourth quarter of the season at 40 points. John Wall scored 13 of his game-high 23 in the last period.

“They got hot in the third quarter and they took over the game but we fought hard in the fourth,” Wall said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“You can’t let one game stop you from getting on a roll. We won six in a row. We’re on the right path and we need to keep going this way.”

The Wizards, 31-29, were hoping to match their longest win streak since 2005 and move four games above .500 for the first time since the end of the 2007-2008 season, the last time they reached the National Basketball Association playoffs.

ADVERTISEMENT

It was in 2005 that the Wizards beat Chicago in the first round of the playoffs, the only playoff series won by Washington since 1982.

Bradley Beal added 21 points while Gortat added 16 and Trevor Booker and Trevor Ariza each scored 15.

“Everybody loses. We can’t get too down,” Ariza said. “We have to see where we can improve. Tonight wasn’t indicative of the type of team we are.”

For coach Randy Wittman, who has the Wizards in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, the challenge is to spark consistency in a team that is challenging Chicago for a home-court edge in the first round of the playoffs.

But he was pleased how the Wizards rallied, trailing 90-71 with 7:53 to play only to battle back within 106-104 before Memphis hit four late free throws to seal the triumph.

“They could have put their heads down 19 but they fought back,” Wittman said of his players. “That can help you move on to the next game. We have to make that carry over. We can keep the thing kind of going even though we had a mess-up.”

The Grizzlies improved to 34-25, still one game behind Dallas for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

RELATED STORIES

Grizzlies, Thunder, Celtics pull off 3-team trade

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Wizards end Thunder streak at 10

TAGS: Memphis Grizzlies, NBA, Sports, Washington Wizards

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.