NBA Game Summary - Chicago at Memphis
(Tuesday, March 16th)
Final Score: Memphis 104, Chicago 97
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - O.J. Mayo paced a balanced attack with 24 points, as Memphis withstood a spirited effort from a depleted Chicago Bulls squad to post a 104-97 win at FedEx Forum.
Mike Conley registered 19 points and 10 assists, and Zach Randolph 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who have taken four of their last five games.
Rudy Gay added a dozen points, and Hasheem Thabeet stepped up with 10 points and nine boards to tie career highs in both categories.
"O.J. [Mayo] hit some big shots for us, and we got a lot of fast break points," Gay said.
Ronald Murray led the short-handed Bulls, who were without each of their top four scorers, with 25 points, and Hakim Warrick came up with 22 off the bench. Acie Law had a season-high 18 points, Jannero Pargo 12 with eight assists and Brad Miller scored 10 and grabbed 11 rebounds.
A fading and banged-up Bulls team extended a season-long losing skid to eight games -- their longest since dropping eight in a row from December 20, 2005- January 4, 2006.
"There's a lot of basketball left, but we can't keep saying that," Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We're in a really tough stretch right now. We have to come back to the drawing board."
Defensive stalwart Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis) has missed each game during the Bulls slide, and he has been joined on the sidelines by forward Luol Deng (calf) and All-Star point guard Derrick Rose (sprained left wrist).
Meanwhile, guard Kirk Hinrich was ejected after two technical fouls against Miami on Friday, resulting in a one-game suspension served Tuesday.
Chicago led 26-25 after the opening frame but was outscored 30-18 in the second quarter and suffered through a 17-0 Grizzlies run to trail by 11, 55-44, at halftime.
Mayo carried the surge with eight points and opened up the second half with one of his four three-pointers on the night. Randolph followed with baskets on the next two Memphis touches, and Gay hit a three moments later for a 69-49 Memphis lead.
The margin grew to 25 points with another Mayo three-ball and Gay's running bank shot with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the third.
The score stood at 85-67 heading to the fourth, and the Bulls put together a furious fourth-quarter surge to make a game of it.
An early 10-4 run cut the deficit to a dozen, and Murray dropped in a three with 6 1/2 minutes left for an 89-80 affair. Then a quick 10-1 stretch capped by Pargo's three-point play made it 94-90 with 3:39 on the clock.
The Grizz received some breathing room when Randolph scored on back-to-back possessions, and Thabeet followed with an alley-oop slam off a Conley helper to re-establish a double-digit lead.
Still, the Bulls stayed in it and got back to within four, 101-97, on a Murray layup with 28.5 ticks left. Ronnie Brewer came back with two at the line, and Murray's three-ball attempt on the ensuing trip was off the mark to seal the outcome.
Grizzlies center Marc Gasol sat with a strained neck. It was the first game he has missed after playing in the first 149 games of his career...Memphis completed a home-and-home season sweep of the series -- its first since the 2003-04 season...The Bulls fell to 0-3 on a four-game road trip that wraps up Wednesday in Dallas.
03/17 01:38:03 ET