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Grizzlies down Pistons to win fourth in a row

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The Canadian Press
11/30/2012 10:56:18 PM
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies closed out their longest homestand of the season with a convincing defensive performance and a double-digit win.

Rudy Gay had 18 points, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley added 17 each, and the Grizzlies won their fourth straight with a 90-78 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

Memphis closed out the five-game home stretch with a 4-1 record, the only loss coming against Denver 97-92 in the opening game.

"We played a lot of good teams in this homestand, and in the last few weeks," Conley said. "For us to get this win, is huge for what we stand for, and that's just one game at a time and being ready for each individual opponent."

Darrell Arthur added 11 points for Memphis, while Jerryd Bayless scored 10 points. Gasol grabbed 11 rebounds.

Greg Monroe led the Pistons with 17 points and nine rebounds, and Tayshaun Prince finished with 15. Brandon Knight added 10 for Detroit, which lost its third straight and fell to 1-9 on the road.

While the Pistons outrebounded the Grizzlies 46-39, Detroit had trouble controlling the ball, committing 22 turnovers to 12 for Memphis.

"They are a good defensive team, but I think a lot of our problems came from turnovers," said Knight who had six turnovers. "Unforced turnovers and unforced errors. We gave them a lot of easy baskets."

Monroe had even more problems than Knight, committing seven turnovers.

"We definitely had a chance to win the game if we didn't turn the ball over as many times as we did," said the Pistons centre, who was 7 of 15 from the field.

Memphis played without guard Tony Allen, who has a right groin sprain.

The Grizzlies built the lead in the second quarter and didn't relinquish the advantage the rest of the way.

Memphis carried a 53-45 lead into the break after a poor shooting start. Knight had all 10 of his points for the Pistons, while Gasol led Memphis with 15.

While both teams shot about 44 per cent for the half, the Pistons committed 13 turnovers compared to five for Memphis.

Detroit coach Lawrence Frank said before the game, that it was mandatory that his team take care of the basketball.

"You just can't give this team extra possessions," Frank said. "Memphis obviously is a very, very good team. But how many of (the turnovers) were forced, and how many were unforced?"

Memphis started 5 of 21 from the field, but eventually got untracked building the lead to double digits.

The Pistons had a 12-4 run opening the third to pull back even.

But Conley converted a 3-point play, and connected from outside the arc to help Memphis carry a 76-66 lead into the final period.

Memphis maintained at least an eight-point advantage through the fourth quarter, although both teams struggled down the stretch. The two teams were a combined 9 of 35 in the final period, and Memphis outscored Detroit 14-12.

"Nobody could make a shot in the fourth quarter," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "I'm happy we were ahead and our defence was still strong."

The Grizzlies head to San Antonio on Saturday to face the Spurs, who are well-rested even though it cost the team $250,000 for sending Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green home before the finale of a six-game road trip in Miami on Thursday night.

NOTES: The Grizzlies have won six straight in the series. ... Randolph entered the game with 12 double-doubles in Memphis' first 13 games. He finished with eight points and five rebounds. ... The Pistons 22 turnovers matched a season high for a Memphis opponent.

Rudy Gay (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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