Jason Williams whipped a pass behind his back to a fellow teammate bearing the last name Gasol, who soared toward the rim for an easy layup. There also was a moment Saturday night when Shane Battier took advantage of an isolation play, put the ball on the floor and tossed in a reverse layup. From the bench, Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins looked on with the same nostalgia and enthusiasm that 16,028 had throughout his team's 120-92 victory over the Sacramento Kings in FedExForum. The Grizzlies looked every bit like a playoff team in more ways than one. They throttled one of the NBA's worst teams and did so with contributions from all 12 guys who played, including contributors on the franchise's last playoff team in 2006. "It really was a throwback night, a retro night when Shane went into the game," said Hollins, who was a Griz assistant coach during Williams and Battier's first stint in Memphis. "The crowd really got into it." Battier made his first appearance since being traded to Memphis on Thursday, and the already energized Grizzlies hit a high note in winning for the 14th time in 18 games. Memphis' season-best point total put them in sole possession of the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff standings. The Griz will face San Antonio tonight, sitting one game ahead of Utah. "They say anytime you get a big trade it revitalizes your team," Griz point guard Mike Conley said. "Everybody's excited about what's ahead for us." The Griz didn't take long to put the Kings in their rearview mirror. After taking a seven-point lead into halftime, the Griz outscored the Kings 33-17 in the third period. Memphis' largest advantage was 33 points in the final period as Sacramento could do nothing to defend the paint. Zach Randolph (23 points, 12 rebounds), Marc Gasol, (21 points, six rebounds) and Hamed Haddadi (10 points, 10 rebounds) were largely responsible for the Grizzlies' scoring 78 points in the paint and outrebounding the Kings, 47-38. "We understand what we're playing for," Randolph said. There were a few things working in the Grizzlies favor that helped their momentum. They caught the Kings playing their sixth straight game without leading scorer Tyreke Evans, who is out with an injured foot.
Randolph leads Memphis Grizzlies past Sacramento Kings, 120-92
Memphis Commercial Appeal | Feb 27