Prince scores 14 in winning debut for Grizzlies
- Associated Press
- February 1, 2013 - 9:46 PM
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Mike Conley scored 18 points and Tayshaun Prince added 14 in his Memphis debut, including a pair of key fourth-quarter jumpers, as the Grizzlies defeated the Washington Wizards 85-76 on Friday night.
Marc Gasol added 13 points and 15 rebounds for the Grizzlies, while Tony Allen and Jerryd Bayless finished with 11 points each. Allen also grabbed eight rebounds, and Conley also had six assists. Prince hit his first three shots of the game, finishing 7 of 11 from the field.
Nene was the only Wizards player to reach double figures with 14 points, while handing out six assists. Emeka Okafor had eight points and 10 rebounds as Washington lost its third straight after winning seven of 10.
The game marked the first appearance for Prince, Ed Davis and Austin Daye, acquired in a three-team trade this week that sent Memphis leading scorer Rudy Gay to Toronto.
Washington rookie guard Bradley Beal missed his second straight game with a right wrist injury.
Memphis put the game away in the final 4 minutes, part of outscoring the Wizards 46-36 in the second half. The Grizzlies overtook the Wizards in the middle stages of the third quarter as Washington had trouble controlling the basketball. The Wizards had a handful of turnovers through the first eight minutes of the period.
The Grizzlies built the lead to five points helped by the Wizards' miscues, which would reach seven in the third. That led to Memphis carrying a 61-56 lead into the fourth quarter although the game was hardly an offensive display of efficiency.
Both were shooting between 41 and 42 percent and things seemed out of sync for both. Memphis ended the night hitting 45 percent, while the Wizards were at 41 percent.
Memphis couldn't extend the advantage enough to get comfortable in the early part of the fourth, and Trevor Ariza's 3-pointer with 8:22 left pulled Washington within 67-66.
Memphis eventually took the lead to 10 points, its biggest lead of the game, when Prince connected on consecutive jumpers for a 72-62 lead with 1:11 remaining.
Prince made an immediate impact, connecting on his first three shots after the Memphis faithful gave him a standing ovation when he entered the game in the first quarter. But both teams struggled from the field in the second quarter, including Washington missing 16 of its first 18 shots in the frame. Memphis was 6 of 20 in the second, while the Wizards were 5 of 23. Memphis outscored Washington 16-10 in the second quarter.
Neither team had a player in double figures at halftime, and Memphis matched its poor shooting with 10 turnovers to seven miscues for the Wizards.
NOTES: Wizards G John Wall left the game in the second quarter with a left shoulder strain, but returned to start the second half. . Daye and Davis are wearing their numbers — 5 and 32, respectively — from their previous teams, but Prince changed from the 22 he wore in Detroit to 21. . The Wizards are 3-20 on the road. . The Wizards have lost seven of the last eight to the Grizzlies, and haven't won in Memphis since Nov. 3, 2004.
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