MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Great shooting and lots of points are leading to plenty of wins for the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Carlos Boozer Archive
The Grizzlies shot 61 percent from the field Wednesday night, built a quick lead and easily defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 128-101 for their seventh victory in eight games.
Over that stretch, Memphis has shot better than 56 percent five times - including twice at better than 60 percent - while averaging more than 109 points. In their only loss, Tuesday at Minnesota, the Grizzlies shot 38 percent from the field.
"It's contagious," said shooting guard Wesley Person, who had 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. "I guess teams get in those grooves where they are shooting the ball really well. The main thing is we are playing unselfish. Everybody is involved, and that makes it much easier."
Pau Gasol scored 28 points and Jason Williams added 16 points and 16 assists for Memphis. Six Grizzlies scored in double figures.
The game was delayed for 15 minutes with 2:49 remaining in the fourth quarter for President Bush's speech regarding the attack on Iraq.
Memphis had a 23-2 run late in the first quarter, including 15 straight, for an 18-point advantage after 12 minutes. Cleveland never recovered, trailing by as many as 22 in the first half and 30 in the fourth quarter.
Mike Miller also scored 16 points and Shane Battier added 14 off the Memphis bench.
Carlos Boozer, the league's leading field goal shooter among rookies (54.0 percent), shot 12-of-15 from the field to lead the Cavaliers with a career-high 27 points. Boozer, a Juneau-Douglas High School graduate, also grabbed 12 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season.
Darius Miles scored 18 points and Jumaine Jones finished with 15 for the Cavs, who shot 43-for-89 with Boozer's stats included (48.3 percent) and just 31-for-74 without them (41.9 percent).
Cleveland interim coach Keith Smart said his team needs everyone to contribute to do well, and Wednesday the team suffered when leading scorer Ricky Davis only had nine points on 4-of-14 shooting and its only all-star, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, scored 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting. Boozer and Miles were the only Cavs to make 50 percent of their shots from the field.
"Everyone has to play well for our team to play well and have a chance to be in the basketball game," Smart said. "One or two guys don't play well, then we don't have a chance. We don't have that makeup of a basketball team right now."
"He's absolutely right," Boozer said. "We're one of those teams where all five players have to do well. That is just the kind of team we are."
Jazz 99, Suns 86
Karl Malone was in the locker room at halftime when President Bush announced that the United States had begun attacking Iraq. A few minutes later, the Jazz-Suns game resumed.
"Coach is saying to get your head in the game, but that's easier said than done. Those could be your brothers and sisters out there," Malone said.
Malone scored 20 of his 34 points in the second half to lead the Jazz to a 99-86 victory in Phoenix on Wednesday night.
"We executed more in the second half," said Malone, 11-of-24 from the floor and 12-of-13 on free throws. "Coming down the stretch we kept pressure on them the whole time without getting caught up in all the other stuff."
That other stuff included Bush's announcement, which was played on scoreboards and video screens at NBA arenas. Games that were already in progress were interrupted during Bush's speech, while games that had not yet begun were delayed.
"It lets you know that this is just a game that you're playing," Malone said.
Bucks 104, Nets 85
At East Rutherford, N.J., the Bucks used a 15-2 run to open the fourth quarter to take control and snap a four-game losing streak.
Gary Payton scored 23 and Sam Cassell had 22 for the Bucks, who held the Nets to 12 points in the final 12 minutes. Milwaukee opened a half-game lead over Michael Jordan and the idle Washington Wizards in the race for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Hornets 101, Knicks 96
At New Orleans, Jamal Mashburn scored 25 and Baron Davis added 23 in his first start in nearly two months.
Mashburn also had eight rebounds and eight assists to help overcome the absence of David Wesley (bruised foot). The victory moved New Orleans ahead of Boston and into fifth in the East, while New York dropped three games behind eighth-place Milwaukee.
Pacers 102, Celtics 72
At Indianapolis, Ron Artest committed his eighth flagrant foul of the season just five seconds after tipoff, then scored 18 points. Artest now faces a two-game suspension.
The Pacers desperately needed the win, only their third in the last 16 games. They remained in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
Trail Blazers 94, Rockets 83
At Portland, Ore., Derek Anderson had 21 points and seven assists and Zach Randolph added 14 points for the Trail Blazers, who have won five of their last seven.
The Rockets were again without coach Rudy Tomjanovich, who was resting in Houston after doctors discovered a cancerous tumor on his bladder lining.
Warriors 105, SuperSonics 99
At Oakland, Calif., Antawn Jamison had 28 points and 12 rebounds, and Jason Richardson scored 25. Bob Sura added 15 points for the Warriors, who had their second win in five days over Seattle following a 14-game losing streak to their Pacific Division rivals.
Magic 109, Heat 93
At Orlando, Fla., Tracy McGrady scored 21 of his 36 points in the second half and the Magic made 12 3-pointers.
Clippers 91, Nuggets 78
At Los Angeles, Wang ZhiZhi scored a career-high 21 points as the Clippers won for only the sixth time in 27 games.
Raptors 87, Hawks 86
At Toronto, Vince Carter made two go-ahead free throws with 3.7 seconds left to help the Raptors end a six-game losing streak.