Memphis Blows Out Knicks Behind Randolph’s Monster Game

Published on: 3rd March, 2010

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zach randolph
Memphis Blows Out Knicks Behind Randolph's Monster Game  | read this item

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New York — It was a tale of two teams and of two players at the Garden, tonight. One, the Memphis Grizzlies, struggling for years as an NBA also-ran, is a team on the come. The other, the New York Knicks, is still in the morass of mediocrity the franchise has been stuck in for almost ten years.

It was also a homecoming of sorts for old buddy, Zach Randolph, who came into this building with a chip on his shoulder, hoping to prove to the Knicks they had made the most grievous of errors when they let him go to the Clippers last year as part of a salary cap move to clear room for the free agent class of 2010.

Randolph not only accomplished his objective, he rubbed the Knicks collective noses in it as he put up a monster game, even by Knicks opponents’ standards. He scored 31 points and pulled down 25 rebounds (yup, that’s what the line score said, 25 rebounds) in a performance so dominant and so complete, even he was surprised.

These two teams are clearly going in different directions, the Grizzlies in a fight for a playoff spot with everything to play for and the Knicks, essentially on a 25 game tryout for the remaining players on their roster, with almost no team goals to achieve.  Who would have thought it would come down to this? Worse who would have believed the well-traveled, still only 28-year old Randolph, now on his fourth NBA team in his eight NBA seasons, would be the leader of a young team that is viewed as being on the come, along with Oklahoma City.

Randolph, who wanted nothing more than to come into the Garden and show his old team what a gigantic mistake it made by trading him off to the Clippers, could not have been happier after the game.

“If they get LeBron, it was worth it,” Randolph said. “If they don’t, I wonder about it. I don’t know.”

“What can you say about Zach (Randolph”. Thirty-one and 25 and he probably would’ve had more [rebounds] if guys weren’t taking rebounds from him because he can’t jump,” Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins joked.

Rudy Gay added 27 points and five rebounds for the Grizzlies, who have won four in a row on the road for the first time since January 1-19, 2005. Marc Gasol donated 25 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists, while Mike Conley tallied 18 points and five assists for the victors.

Al Harrington finished with 31 points off the bench for the Knicks, who have dropped six in a row at home. David Lee added 21 points and seven rebounds.

Tracy McGrady had zero points in just over 15 minutes of action in the first half. He sat on the bench for the entire second half due to a sore left knee.

“Actually I was [feeling some pain], tonight was pretty tough on me,” McGrady said. “I felt that in the beginning. Usually in the first half I’m pretty good but tonight even the first couple of trips up the court I noticed that this wasn’t my night.”

Trailing 107-99 near the midway point of the fourth, the Knicks ripped off eight consecutive points to tie the contest. Sergio Rodriguez and Danilo Gallinari and made three-pointers around a Harrington jumper to make it 107-107 with 4:04 to play.

The Grizzlies then fought right back with an 11-0 run to claim victory. Randolph had five points during the flurry, which Conley capped with a layup for a 118-107 margin with 34.6 seconds left. New York went 0-for-7 from the field during that stretch.

Lee made a jumper and Marcus Williams made a pair of free throws in the final seconds to account for the final score.

The Grizzlies came out of the gates on fire, starting the game on a 21-7 run. New York was able to chip away at its deficit and trailed 31-23 after 12 minutes.

The Knicks opened the second quarter on a 17-8 burst to go in front. Harrington tallied five points during the stretch, which Rodriguez ended with a layup to make it a 40-39 contest with over 5 1/2 minutes left.

Memphis finished the first half on a small 5-1 spurt to grab a 56-52 lead at the break.

New York scored the final seven points of the third to take an 88-85 edge into the fourth.

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