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Grizzlies head back to Texas, take on Mavs
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Memphis Grizzlies are headed back to the Lone Star State when they visit the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night.
Memphis lost its season opener on the road against the defending Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday and rebounded with Friday's 111-108 overtime triumph at home versus the Detroit Pistons.
The Grizzlies outscored the Pistons 16-13 in the extra session and were led by Mike Conley's 22 points. Zach Randolph posted 16 points and 10 rebounds, Tony Allen also had 16 points and Marc Gasol contributed 15 and eight boards. Gasol played a big role at the end with five points in the closing moments of regulation.
Gasol converted a three-point play after Greg Monroe fouled him on a jump shot. The center then tipped in a basket to tie the game at 95-95 with 8.2 seconds left in the game, forcing an overtime session. Memphis scored 11 of the first 13 points in OT.
First-year head coach David Joerger won his first NBA game.
"It felt good to get the win for Coach Joerger and to get the bad taste out of our mouths from the previous game. I like easy wins, but this was a good win. We wanted to get the first win at home. The fans, as always, helped us a lot. Especially, when we were down seven with a couple minutes to go. I think they gave us that extra push that we needed," said Gasol.
Memphis finished 24-17 on the road last season and hopes a second visit to Texas will bear better results. The team is 41-4 over the last two seasons when scoring 100-plus points.
Dallas lost its Lone Star battle with the Houston Rockets Friday by a 113-105 score. Rockets newcomer Dwight Howard and James Harden combined for 47 points, while Howard (13 points) grabbed 16 rebounds.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 22 points and Monta Ellis netted 20 one game after scoring 32 in the season opener. DeJuan Blair had the first double- double of the season by a Maverick with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Dallas, which prevailed despite shooting 38 percent for the game.
An 18-6 run late in the fourth quarter pulled the Mavericks within five at 110-105, but the Rockets were too much and held on for the win.
"We have to play better at the start of the game. Our play in the first quarter put us in such a hole that we could never get back over the hump and every minute counts in an NBA game," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "When you fall down double digits in the first quarter, you are going to be digging out of a hole the entire night and this is too good of a team to do that against."
The Mavs are facing a Memphis team that predicates its success on defense. If they want to have an edge Saturday, the Mavericks must come out shooting in the first quarter.
Memphis went 3-1 against Dallas a season ago and has won seven of the past nine in this series.
11/02 10:50:48 ET