Do not sleep on the Memphis Grizzlies. They lost on opening night to the Los Angeles Clippers and have not lost since. On Wednesday they went on the road to face the defending champions of the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Rudy Gay scored a season high 28 points and Zach Randolph added 20 points to lead the 6-1 Grizzlies to a 107-97 win. Randolph and Kendrick Perkins of the Thunder were both ejected after a late game altercation. The Grizzlies are no longer the NBA‘s punching bag. They are now a title contender.
The second quarter was the decisive quarter in the game as the Grizzlies outscored the Thunder 36-15 in the period. Marc Gasol had 14 points, Quincy Pondexter added 13 and Jarrod Bayless had 12 for the Grizzlies. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 34 points while Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook added 17 points each.
The Thunder lost for the first time in six games as their fourth quarter comeback feel a bit short. OKC is now 6-3 on the season.
In other NBA action on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Clippers got 22 points from Jamal Crawford off the bench and also got double doubles from Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in a 107-100 win over the Miami Heat, despite 30 points from Lebron James. The Clippers are now 6-2 while Miami dropped to 6-3.
The Detroit Pistons got their first win of the year by whipping the Philadelphia 76ers 94-76. Greg Munroe led the Pistons with 19 points and 18 rebounds. Kyle Singler also had 16 points while Tayshaun Prince and Brandon Knight each had 15 points. The loss dropped the Sixers to 4-4.
This year’s surprise team so far, the Charlotte Bobcats got a jumper from Kemba Walker at the buzzer to beat the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves 89-87. The Bobcats, who won only seven times last season, is now 4-3 this season. The Timberwolves are now 5-3 on the season.
Paul Pierce had 23 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 98-93 win over the Utah Jazz. The Celtics have now won five of their last six to go to 5-3. Utah fell to 4-5.
The Chicago Bulls went to overtime to beat the Phoenix Suns 112-106. Carlos Boozer had 28 points to lead the Bulls.
The Golden State Warriors beat the Atlanta Hawks 92-88. Harrison Barnes had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Warriors who are now 4-4. The Hawks fell to 3-4.