Grizz go for new winning streak in Orlando
(Sports Network) - The Memphis Grizzlies' eight-game winning streak was snapped on Friday night in Miami, but they will try to get back on track 234 miles north against the Orlando Magic.
The Grizz played very well against the defending champion Heat, but LeBron James took the game over late. Memphis is the league's best defensive team in terms of opponents' scoring and held James to four points through three quarters, but the reigning MVP picked up 14 in the decisive fourth quarter.
"We wanted to win (the game) and we couldn't pull it off," said Marc Gasol. "They made a couple of big plays in the end. LeBron (James) made a big three"
Gasol led all scorers with 24 points. He had nine rebounds, as did Zach Randolph, who scored 14 after appearing to injure his ankle in the first quarter.
Mike Conley and Quincy Pondexter both scored in double figures in the losing cause.
Friday's setback was the Grizzlies' first since Feb. 6 in Atlanta. They went 9-2 in the month of February and head coach Lionel Hollins earned Western Conference Coach of the Month honors. It was the second time this season Hollins picked up that honor. He won in November after the team opened the season 12-2 in October and November.
The Magic failed to build any momentum after their 98-84 drubbing of the 76ers in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Orlando dropped its next two, both at home, and surrendered an average of 121.5 ppg.
Against the Houston Rockets, the league's best scoring team, Orlando fell, 118-110. The Magic took a one-point lead into the final quarter, but the Rockets took the final frame by nine. The Rockets went on an 11-0 run with five minutes to go to send Orlando to its fifth straight home loss.
"Down the stretch it's only natural for the intensity to pick up on the defensive end and we just have to take care of the ball better and be smart about shot selection," said Arron Afflalo.
Tobias Harris, acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks in the J.J. Redick trade, led the team with a career-high 27 points off the bench. Harris has been a revelation since the trade, averaging 20.0 ppg in his four games in a Magic uniform.
Five Magic players scored in double figures Friday. The team played without starting point guard Jameer Nelson for the fifth straight game due to a left patella contusion/strain. He is listed as doubtful for Sunday evening.
The Grizzlies have won three in a row against the Magic, including an 88-82 home victory just a little over a week ago. All three victories during this run came at home and Memphis has dropped three straight in Orlando.
03/03 10:32:01 ET