Big 1st half helps Memphis coast past Magic 108-82

  • Article by: KYLE HIGHTOWER
  • Associated Press
  • March 3, 2013 - 7:52 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. - Tayshaun Prince had 14 points and Marc Gasol added 12 points and 11 assists as the Memphis Grizzlies cruised to a 108-82 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday night.

The Grizzlies, who have won nine of their last 10 games, led by as many as 32 points and had six players in double figures. Sunday was their first of five straight games against teams with losing records.

Memphis played without forward Zach Randolph, who rested the left ankle he sprained in last Friday's loss to Miami.

Arron Afflalo and E'Twaun Moore each added 12 points to lead a Magic team that has lost 17 of 19 on its home floor.

Orlando is now just 4-31 since Dec. 20, and begins a two-game road trip Monday at New Orleans.

The Grizzlies entered Sunday with the fourth-best record in the Western Conference and trailing third-place Los Angeles Clippers by just a game in the loss column. The Clippers lost to Oklahoma City earlier Sunday.

Memphis is in prime position to gain even more ground in the playoff race this week, thanks to a break in the schedule among playoff contenders. It includes meetings with Cleveland and New Orleans — who are both in last place in their respective divisions — and two games against struggling Portland.

The Grizzlies never trailed and pulled their starters early in the fourth quarter, having never seen their lead threatened over the final 24 minutes.

But they did have another scary moment on the injury front against the Magic. Randolph's replacement in the starting lineup, forward Darrell Arthur, was shaken up midway through the second quarter when he landed awkwardly on his back and hit his head against the floor after a hard foul by Orlando's Al Harrington.

Referees reviewed the play, but didn't deem it to be a flagrant foul. Arthur stayed in the game and hit his ensuing free throws, but went to the bench a few minutes later and didn't return.

The Grizzlies finished the half strong without, though, him and led 60-35 at halftime.

Memphis shot just under 60 percent in the half (25 for 42) and scored 14 points off nine Orlando turnovers to help build its advantage.

The Magic also helped the cause by missing all eight of their 3-point attempts.

NOTES: Memphis improved to 10-1 when it shoots at least 50 percent from the field. ... Orlando dropped to 5-24 when its opponent scores at least 100 points. ... Magic PG Jameer Nelson missed his sixth consecutive game with a left patella tendon contusion. He remains day-to-day.

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