The post All-Star game run of the NBA season has started and the Memphis Grizzlies made a step in the right direction pulling out a win against the New York Knicks on Tuesday (Feb. 18th) at FedExForum.
A lift from Mike Conley and a rain of three-pointers from Mike Miller kept the Grizzlies afloat, withstanding New York's second-half surge en route to a 98-93 victory.
Conley had missed the previous seven games with a sprained right ankle. Finishing with 22 points, he was 6-of-15 from the field and scored a season high 10-of-12 from the free throw line. He dropped nine points during the last five minutes of play.
"The plays that Mike Conley made, he just gutted it out," said Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger. "He was fantastic down the stretch and made big plays."
Miller poured in a season-high 19 points with five three-pointers.
"I thought his (Miller's) aggressiveness early in the game was huge," Joerger said.
Memphis swept the three-game season series against New York. The Knicks have not defeated the Grizzlies since March 9, 2011. The Grizzlies outscored the Knicks in the paint 42-32 and scored 20 points on 12 New York turnovers.
The Grizzlies got a strong start, on top by five (22-17) at the end of the first quarter and by 13 (50-37) at the halftime break. New York made adjustments, erasing much of the deficit and trailing by only two (66-64) at the end the third quarter.
The Knicks kept pushing in the final frame, and with 2:32 left to play, Memphis trailed 90-85. Then came a 13-13 run to victory by the Grizzlies.
"The first half we made shots," Joerger said. "They didn't make shots. First game out of the break is kind of funky. It's a tough team to play anytime, but the first game after the break is really difficult."
The Knicks' Tim Hardaway Jr. led the all scorers with 23 points off the bench.
"They did a great job of switching and not getting separation," Hardaway said. "They did a great job of staying attached. They were doing some things out there that we walked through in practice, but they were just executing it very well."
Knicks All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony notched his 19th double-double, with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
"Very disappointed," Anthony said of the loss. "To be up, to fight our way back, to go up five, six a couple of minutes on the clock and kind of give it away. I'm very disappointed but we have to put this one behind us to and get ready for tomorrow.
"We adjusted offensively," said Anthony. "Defensively we made some adjustments and that's kind of what got us back into the game. Coming down the stretch we missed some wide-open shots. They capitalized on some turnovers that we made down the stretch."
Notes: Grizzlies guard Tony Allen is still out with an injury. The Grizzlies will face the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday at FedExForum.