The Grizzlies picked up a half game on the Denver Nuggets in the race for the third seed in the Western Conference standings Friday.
Mike Conley hit two free throws in a tie game with 33 seconds left to give the Memphis Grizzlies (54-25) an 82-78 win over the Houston Rockets (44-35) Friday.
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After trailing by double digits most of the first half, the Rockets held the Grizzlies to just 31 second-half points to make the game closer. Memphis had a chance to push the lead to four with less than 10 seconds left, but Tony Allen missed two free throws, giving Houston one more shot. The Memphis defense held on for the win.
Marc Gasol had 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, and Zach Randolph had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Grizzlies.
James Harden led the Rockets with 30 points and Jeremy Lin added 17. Both teams shot below 35 percent for the game.
The win helped the Grizzlies move within a half game of the third-place Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference standings. With the loss, the Rockets dropped a full game behind the Golden State Warriors in the race for the sixth seed.
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