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(Saturday, January 19th)
Final Score: Memphis 85, Chicago 82 (OT)
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Marc Gasol scored 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting and the Memphis Grizzlies bounced back from squandering a 17-point third- quarter lead to outlast the Chicago Bulls in an 85-82 overtime decision at the United Center.
Back from a one-game absence due to a strained back, Zach Randolph amassed 13 points and 19 rebounds to help Memphis extend the Bulls' struggles at home this season. Rudy Gay added 16 points and eight points for the Grizzlies, who halted a three-game skid with Friday's 85-69 triumph over Sacramento despite having Randolph unavailable.
"We expected a tough game tonight because they are one of the best defensive teams in the league," Memphis guard Mike Conley said of the Bulls. "I just wanted to have one or two more points than they did at the end."
Chicago dropped to 11-11 at the United Center on the season after failing to overcome not having its leading scorer in the lineup. Forward Luol Deng was held out of the contest after aggravating a hamstring injury in Friday's overtime victory at Boston.
Jimmy Butler had a career-high 18 points starting in Deng's place, but the Bulls shot just 36.5 percent as a team and had a three-game win streak snapped. Carlos Boozer finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds in the setback.
"I feel like we played hard the last quarter, but it wasn't enough," Butler remarked.
After watching Chicago climb back from a 54-37 deficit with under 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter to force overtime, the Grizzlies regrouped with a solid extra session to prevail.
Memphis scored the first six points of overtime, with back-to-back Gasol baskets staking the Grizzlies to an 82-76 lead they would not relinquish.
The Grizzlies were up by five with a minute to go in additional time, but Butler scored on a second-chance opportunity and Nate Robinson converted a layup after Randolph missed two potentially costly free throws to pull to within 83-82 with 6.6 seconds left.
Chicago suffered a rare defensive breakdown as the Grizzlies inbounded the ball, however, allowing Jerryd Bayless to break loose for a running dunk to make it a three-point game.
Both Robinson and Boozer then misfired from beyond the arc in the final seconds as Memphis held on.
The Bulls struggled offensively against the Grizzlies' rugged defense throughout the night, but finally got untracked with a strong fourth quarter to get back in it.
Butler led the way by pouring in 12 points during the period, and helped spark a 10-0 run that he capped with two successful free throws that put Chicago ahead 70-69 with 3:20 remaining in regulation. It was the Bulls' first lead since midway through the second quarter.
The lead would change hands three more times before the buzzer, the most recent coming on a Gasol 10-footer that gave Memphis a 76-75 edge with 34.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Gasol then fouled Marco Belinelli on the ensuing possession, but the Chicago shooter made only one of his two attempts from the line to forge a tie. Both teams missed scoring chances in the closing seconds, sending the game into OT deadlocked at 76.
Trailing 30-25 near the midway mark of the second quarter, the Grizzlies turned the game's momentum with a 13-0 run.
Gay led the surge by putting up six consecutive points within a span of 1:25, with the first of those baskets putting Memphis in front by a 31-30 count. He added two free throws and another jumper before Gasol tacked on the final three points of the tear to increase the Grizzlies' margin to eight with under two minutes to go in the half.
The lead reached double digits when Gasol knocked down a pair of foul shots that sent Memphis into the break claiming a 54-44 advantage.
Memphis continued to have the upper hand for much of the third quarter, with Gay's short jumper lengthening the differential to 17 points at 54-37 with 4:29 to go in the stanza. The Grizzlies took a seemingly comfortable 60-47 lead into the fourth, when Chicago began to roar back.
Memphis improved to 3-1 in overtime games this season, with the Bulls suffering their first loss in four such outings ... The Grizzlies won for only the fourth time in 18 all-time visits to the United Center ... The home team had won in 14 of the last 16 meetings between the clubs, including Memphis' 80-71 verdict at FedEx Forum on Dec. 17 ... Butler's previous career high was 13 points, which he matched in Friday's victory over the Celtics.
01/20 01:46:45 ET
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