Sun, Nov 09, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Mike Conley scores 20 as Grizzlies down Thunder


Mike Conley finished with 20 points and five assists as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated short-handed Oklahoma City Thunder 91-89 on Friday to post their franchise-record sixth straight win to start the season.

Courtney Lee scored 17 points and Zach Randolph had 16 points and seven boards for the Grizzlies.

“I am happy with what we are doing, but we know we have a long way to go,” Conley said. “We know this is only six games. We are still striving to be great.”

The Grizzlies had lost three straight and seven of their past 10 games in Oklahoma City heading into Friday’s contest.

Reggie Jackson scored a game-high 22 points for the injury-depleted Thunder, who were without superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant has a foot injury and Westbrook was out with a hand injury.

Jeremy Lamb had a solid season debut with 17 points, while Steven Adams finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds in front of 18,203 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

In a rematch of last season’s first-round playoff series that the Thunder won in seven games, Memphis led for the entire game until late in the fourth.

“We tried to play our game,” Conley said. “They tried to force us to make outside shots and we told our guys ‘You have to make them if we are going to win.’”

The Grizzlies led 22-19 after one quarter and led by as many as nine in the second, taking a 49-40 lead into halftime.

Memphis could not shake the pesky Thunder as they took a 66-62 lead into the fourth.

Lamb nailed a three-pointer with just over four minutes to go in the fourth to tie it 81-81. Thunder guard Jackson hit a jump shot that was sandwiched between a pair of Memphis three-pointers to stretch the Grizzlies lead to four points. The Thunder took their only lead of the game with 53 seconds remaining on back-to-back threes by Serge Ibaka and Jackson.

On the next Memphis possession, Conley responded with a three-pointer for a 90-89 lead.

After an empty possession from each team, Oklahoma City was whistled for a five-second turnover on the inbounds. However, Lee made just one of the two free throws with just three seconds on the clock.

Ibaka then fired long on the potential game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer.

“This team is very good. We want to play every game like it is the 82nd game going into the playoffs,” Conley said.

LeBron James had 22 points and 11 assists on a poor shooting night by Cleveland’s “big three,” helping the Cavaliers hold on for a win over the Denver Nuggets.

James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were a combined 19 of 45 from the floor. The Cavaliers had seven players score in double figures and finished 1-2 on their road trip.

Cleveland wound up with 25 assists two nights after the team tied a franchise record with just six in a loss at Utah.

Randy Foye scored 28 points for the Nuggets, who have dropped four in a row. Denver played without speedy point guard Ty Lawson after he was scratched due to a sore left ankle.

In other games on Friday, it was:

‧ Hornets 122, Hawks 119

‧ Nets 110, Knicks 99

‧ Kings 114, Suns 112

‧ Raptors 103, Wizards 84

‧ Bulls 118, 76ers 115

‧ Celtics 101, Pacers 98

‧ Magic 112, Timberwolves 103

‧ Mavericks 105, Jazz 82

‧ Pistons 98, Bucks 95

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