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Archive for Sunday, November 24, 2002

NBA Roundup: Grizzlies halt 13-game slide

Memphis whips Wizards; Mavs silence Sonics, improve to 13-0

November 24, 2002

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— Memphis' first sellout crowd of the season saw Michael Jordan play and the Grizzlies win.

Earl Watson came off the bench to score a career-high 17 points as the Grizzlies beat Jordan and the Washington Wizards 85-74 Saturday night to snap a 13-game losing streak.

"It was just a matter of time for us to collectively come to a point where we made it happen," Watson said.

The Grizzlies gave Hubie Brown a victory in his sixth game as coach and ended the worst season-opening losing streak in franchise history. Memphis avoided the NBA record of 17 straight losses at the beginning of a season held by Miami (1988) and the Los Angeles Clippers (1999).

It was Brown's first NBA victory since 1986 when he went 4-12 coaching the New York Knicks.

"We all know we didn't win the World Series, but what happens now is it takes a little pressure off the kids in the community. That's what I'm happy about," Brown said.

Watson, a second-year guard out of UCLA, handed out five assists with no turnovers, and Wesley Person had 14 points off the bench. Gordan Giricek had 11 points, and Lorenzen Wright and Stromile Swift each had 10.

Michael Jordan led Washington with 20 points. Kwame Brown had 14 points and Tyronn Lue had 11. Jerry Stackhouse had a season-low nine points as he went 4-of-19 from the floor.

"It's definitely a bad loss for us, and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth," Stackhouse said. "It's an embarrassing loss. We lost to the worst team in the league who hadn't won a game yet."

Washington coach Doug Collins downplayed becoming the Grizzlies' first victim. He was more concerned that his Wizards only went to the free throw line 10 times, well below their average of 27 attempts..

Mavericks 115, Sonics 105

Dallas - Dirk Nowitzki scored 13 of his 29 points during a thrilling fourth quarter as Dallas dug out of a season-worst 16-point deficit and beat Seattle, extending its season-opening winning streak to 13. Dallas got back into the game with an 18-1 run that started late in the third quarter. Seattle briefly went ahead again, but the Mavs wouldn't be denied.

Celtics 109, Hawks 99

Atlanta - Shammond Williams stepped into the starting lineup and had 19 points and six of Boston's 17 steals as the Celtics won their third straight game. Paul Pierce scored 31 points and Antoine Walker added 22 for Boston, which never trailed and scored 24 points off 25 turnovers.

Pistons 106, Pacers 91

Indianapolis - Richard Hamilton had 22 points and five teammates scored in double figures as Detroit pulled away in the second half and beat Indiana, snapping the Pacers' winning streak at nine games.

Kings 95, Trail Blazers 94

Portland, Ore. - Hedo Turkoglu made a pair of free throws with 14.4 seconds remaining to lift Sacramento past Portland. Chris Webber led Sacramento, which has won five in a row and eight of nine, with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Bobby Jackson added 22 points.

Hornets 97, Cavaliers 84

Cleveland - Baron Davis scored 13 of his 17 points after sitting out the third period with back spasms, leading New Orleans past Cleveland as the Cavaliers lost their 10th in a row. David Wesley scored nine of his 20 points in the decisive third quarter.

Nets 96, Timberwolves 82

Minneapolis - Kerry Kittles scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half to spark New Jersey past Minnesota. Jason Kidd had 18 points and 12 assists and Richard Jefferson had 14 points and seven rebounds for the defending Eastern Conference champions.

Jazz 110, Bulls 90

Salt Lake City - Matt Harpring and Karl Malone each had 20 points as Utah extended its winning streak to four games. Jarron Collins added 12 points and Andrei Kirilenko scored 11 for the Jazz, who are .500 for the first time since opening night. Jalen Rose scored 25 for the Bulls, who have lost four straight to start a six-game road trip.

Nuggets 80, Suns 79

Phoenix - Ryan Bowen's layup just before the final buzzer gave Denver a victory over Phoenix.

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