The New Orleans Hornets were in the hunt for the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference with the NBA playoffs in sight, but took a step back on Sunday as they fell to the Memphis Grizzlies, 111-89. It was never particularly close in the second half as Memphis slammed the door on the Hornets after taking a four-point lead into halftime. By the end of the third quarter, any hopes the Hornets had of keeping pace with the Portland Trail Blazers for the No. 6 spot had gone out the window as Memphis stretched its lead to 15.
O.J. Mayo came off the bench to provide a spark for the Grizzlies, scoring a game-high 18 points in the win. Marc Gasol added 16 points, with Zach Randolph and Sam Young each chipping in 14 points. Greivis Vasquez came off the bench and scored 13 points, as well.
Marco Belinelli matched Mayo, scoring 18 points for the Hornets in the loss. Chris Paul didn’t score a points, going 0-6 from the field and missing both of his free throw attempts. He did, however, dish-out 10 assists, but it wasn’t enough as New Orleans faded in the second half. Willie Green and Jarrett Jack provided a lift off the bench, scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively. New Orleans took the opportunity to rest their starters, giving the bench some work with an NBA playoff spot already locked up.
Memphis’ win puts the Hornets and Grizzlies in a two-way tie for the seventh seed in the West. Both teams trail the Blazers by one game for the No. 6 seed with two games to play.