April 2, 2012; Oklahoma City OK, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) during pregame warm ups against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE
The Memphis Grizzlies defense came alive midway through the fourth quarter to overcome a 12-point deficit and beat the Golden State Warriors 98-94 Tuesday night in Memphis.
Through about three quarters of the game, the Memphis Grizzlies rarely showed the Golden State Warriors why they carry a top 10 defensive efficiency and are tops in the league in defensive turnover percentage. But in a three-and-half-minute stretch midway through the fourth quarter, Memphis finally turned up the heat, turning over the Warriors five times in that stretch and rolling up from behind to take the lead and beat the Warriors 98-94 Tuesday night in Memphis.
The Grizzlies tied a season high for three-point baskets made, with nine. O.J. Mayo made four of those nine, three of which played a large role in bringing Memphis back from as many as 12 points down in the fourth quarter. Mayo led six Memphis players scoring in double-digits, shooting 6-12 from the field for his 19 points.
Mayo did his damage off the bench, along with a perfect shooting night from Dante Cunningham, who was 6-6 with four of those coming in the fourth quarter.
Gilbert Arenas was also perfect in his four attempts from the field, scoring 10 points against the team that originally drafted him in 2001. Arenas was no sideshow, however, playing critical minutes during the 17-2 run that Memphis used to take control of the game. His seven minute shift accounted for a +16 point differential that was the difference in the game and Arenas created two steals during his run in there as well.
The Warriors had been plugging along quite nicely to that point, led by David Lee's game-high 22 points. Lee had a double-double despite being sick, grabbing 13 boards for the night. Lee was joined by a season high in just about everything from Jeremy Tyler, who had nine points and 11 rebounds in his almost 30 minutes of play.
After the Warriors lost control of the game late, it still had its chances, but couldn't make good on anything and executed a curious strategy in the final minute of the game. After a steal by Lee and a layup by Klay Thompson (2-8, six points), Golden State was down four with 33 seconds left. Being a two-possession game, one would expect the Warriors to foul Memphis and extend the game.
But Golden State did not foul and, while they did eventually prevent Memphis from scoring when Mike Conley (7-11, 3-4, 18 points) stepped out of bounds, they only left themselves 11 seconds to make up those four points. When the Warriors struggled to inbound the ball, and then got it poked away, they only had time for a Nate Robinson (8-17, 18 points, five assists) three-point shot, which caught nothing but air and the game was over.
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