Wizards

Grizzlies hand Knicks first loss, 105-95

201211162140780510446-p2.jpeg

Grizzlies hand Knicks first loss, 105-95

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) After handing the New York Knicks their first loss of the season, the Memphis Grizzlies now have the NBA's best record.

Zach Randolph had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Marc Gasol added 24 points and the Grizzlies beat the Knicks 105-95 Friday night, ending New York's season-opening eight-game winning streak.

Memphis used a big third-quarter run to increase its lead to 21 points and the advantage dipped into single digits just once in the fourth.

The Grizzlies (7-1) have now beaten the defending champion Miami Heat, the reigning Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder, and the previously undefeated Knicks - all by double digits - this week.

``We are trying to make a statement,'' said Memphis guard Mike Conley, who scored 16 points and had eight assists. ``We are making a statement that we can play with anybody on any given night.''

Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points for New York, which was trying to start 7-0 for the first time since the 1993-94 season - when it reached the NBA Finals. Raymond Felton had 18 points and Rasheed Wallace added 13 on 6-for-10 shooting.

The game got away from New York in the third quarter, when the Knicks seemed to lose their composure during Memphis' rally, complaining about calls and drawing technical - including one on Knicks coach Mike Woodson.

``Our guys are competitive. They want to win,'' Woodson said. ``We are on a six-game winning streak. We didn't want that streak to break. But it did, so we have to start a new streak.''

The Knicks shot 51 percent for the game, but Memphis had 12 offensive rebounds, leading to a 22-12 advantage in second-chance points.

``We just couldn't rebound the ball,'' Knicks point guard Jason Kidd said. ``We knew that coming in here, we couldn't give those guys second opportunities because they would capitalize on it.''

Memphis opened the second half with a 23-7 spurt, a rally that built the advantage to 77-56.

New York cut into the margin slightly, but Memphis still carried an 85-67 lead into the fourth after outscoring the Knicks 31-18 in the third.

The Knicks started a comeback to open the fourth, outscoring Memphis 12-3 to pull to 91-81 with 6:18 left on Felton's jumper in the lane.

New York appeared poised to make a comeback reminiscent of Thursday night's win at San Antonio, when the Knicks outscored the Spurs 27-11 in the final 7:14 for a 104-100 victory.

But New York never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

``The third quarter got away from us,'' Anthony said. ``Techs, they made some shots. We missed some shots. They got the momentum, kind of slowed the game down. We made a run and cut it to eight, but they already had the momentum going, so we were just in an uphill battle from there.''

Memphis will try to maintain its winning streak and hold onto the best record in Charlotte on Saturday night when the Grizzlies face the Bobcats in their first back-to-back of the season.

Meanwhile, the Knicks were already thinking about starting a new winning streak Sunday at home against the Indiana Pacers.

But while the talk was of moving on, several Knicks, still stinging from the loss to Memphis, were thinking ahead to the teams' next meeting.

``One thing we're saying,'' Wallace said of the Grizzlies, ``they've got to come to the Garden.''

Quick Links

Bradley Beal thoroughly impressed by LeBron James after being his teammate at All-Star Game

Bradley Beal thoroughly impressed by LeBron James after being his teammate at All-Star Game

As a member of the Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal has had many battles with LeBron James over the years, first with the Miami Heat and now with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Over the weekend, Beal got to experience having James as a teammate for the first time at the All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

It was an eye-opening endeavor. Beal got to see up close and personal James' abilities and his routine to maximize them. In a group of the best players on the planet, James stood out.

"It was surreal at first, just being around all the guys," Beal said. "Even just being on his team for two days, that was an unbelievable experience."

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Beal, 24, is six seasons in to his NBA career and from experience has learned how to train for the rigors of an 82-game regular season. What James does at 33 years old to stay in peak form, however, is next level.

"To see his preparation, his focus and his mentality and what he does to take care of his body before and after games," Beal said. "That's the true testament to a Hall of Famer and one of the best to ever play the game."

James actually assisted Beal's first points in the All-Star Game, a two-handed dunk in the first quarter. James attacked the rim on a fastbreak to draw attention, then found Beal with a dump-off pass for an easy bucket.

RELATED: WIZARDS HAVE BIG QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN SECOND HALF

It was an example of James' tricks of the trade. He is not just the most athletic player on the court, he is also the smartest when it comes to the game of basketball.

"His approach and his leadership and everything, it's top notch. It's crazy because you always play against him and to play with him, you get experience the other side of it," Beal said.

Beal, however, did note that much of what he gleaned from James was by watching him. At the end of the day, they are competitors and James isn't going to give away all of his secrets.

"He's not disclosing that information," Beal joked.

The Wizards happen to play James and the Cavs in their first game back from the All-Star break on Thursday night. Once again, Beal will be on the other side. 

RELATED: 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT HAS LOADED CLASS

Quick Links

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Walt Williams talks Wizards, his NBA career and life after basketball

wizardstipoffcp.jpeg
NBC Sports Washington

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Walt Williams talks Wizards, his NBA career and life after basketball

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes was joined by former NBA player Walt Williams for a wide-ranging discussion. Williams talked about the Wizards, his show on NBC Sports Washington and his playing career.

Williams also projected the NBA prospects of Maryland Terrapins stars Bruno Fernando and Kevin Huerter.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!