Gasol, Miller lead Grizzlies past Sixers, 117-95
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Marc Gasol had 21 points and 10 rebounds, Mike Miller added 19 points, and the Memphis Grizzlies made a strong push in the third quarter to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 117-95 on Friday night.
Tony Allen scored 15 points to help the Grizzlies preserve their playoff hopes. Memphis entered the night trailing the Suns by a game for the Western Conference's final postseason spot. The Suns were playing San Antonio.
The Grizzlies held a 10-point lead at halftime and outscored the Sixers 30-17 in the third with Allen and Gasol scoring eight points each.
Memphis continued to dominate on the interior, outscoring Philadelphia 60-48 in the paint and outrebounding the Sixers 49-36 for the game.
The Grizzlies shot 54 percent from the field, compared to 44 percent for the 76ers.
Memphis shot 55 percent in the first half to carry a 57-47 lead at intermission. Miller was 5 of 7, including connecting on all three of his shots outside the arc, as he and Gasol scored 13 points each. Gasol converted all but one of his seven shots in the half.
Young scored 10 points for Philadelphia.
Memphis led by as many as 12 in the first half, and its biggest problem was getting back on defense, allowing a couple of breakaways by Philadelphia. One of those irritated coach Dave Joerger so much, he called a quick timeout despite the Grizzlies leading.
Memphis was hampered by eight turnovers in the half, and committed 16 on the night.
The Grizzlies continued to build the lead in the third, turning up the defense as the Sixers seemed to lose whatever spirit they had at this point in a tough season.
Near the end of the quarter and with the shot clock running down, Gasol connected from outside the top of the key - only his second 3-pointer of the season - to help the Grizzlies carry an 87-64 lead into the fourth.
That was enough for Memphis to coast to the finish and get starters some rest heading into the final stretch run of the season.
NOTES: The Sixers had several Memphis connections. Wroten was drafted by the Grizzlies. Elliot Williams and 10-day signee Adonis Thomas played at the University of Memphis, while Thaddeus Young was a high school standout in the city. Arnett Moultrie, who also played high school ball in Memphis, was inactive serving five-game suspension for violating league anti-drug policy. ... The Sixers have trailed by double-digits in 64 of their 79 games this season. ... Philadelphia is now 6-56 when it fails to reach 110 points. ... Memphis' last home loss was Feb. 5 to Dallas.