NEW ORLEANS — Point guard Mike Conley scored all of his team-high 16 points in the second half, including a running one-hander in the lane with 1.5 seconds left, lifting the Memphis Grizzlies to a 90-88 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night at the Smoothie King Arena.
The Grizzlies (38-26) won their fourth consecutive game by holding the Pelicans (26-38) to 31 points on 11-of-32 shooting (34.3 percent) in the second half. New Orleans saw its 10-point, third-quarter lead evaporate in the wake of a 7-0 Memphis run that tied the score at 88 with 1:16 left.
The Pelicans then went two ugly offensive possessions, with guards Austin Rivers and Anthony Morrow missing 3-pointers. The Grizzlies got the ball with 14.3 seconds left and set up a clear-out for Conley, who shook past Rivers for his game-winning floater.
The Pelicans got 29 points and 10 rebounds from forward Anthony Davis, but he scored just seven in the second half.
Conley, held scoreless in the first half, exploded for 14 consecutive third-quarter points, but the Grizzlies shot just 29 percent in the quarter and New Orleans led 74-67 after three.
Morrow hit a 3-pointer to give the Pelicans a 79-71 advantage, but Memphis ran off seven straight, including a 3-pointer from forward Mike Miller, to cut the deficit to 79-78 with 7:15 left.
After averaging 29.7 points during the Pelicans’ three-game winning streak, Davis poured in 22 in the first half against the Grizzlies to help New Orleans build a 57-48 halftime lead. No other Pelican scored in double figures, although Rivers overcame a chewing out by coach Monty Williams to score eight second-quarter points.
NOTES: The Pelicans announced 35 minutes before tipoff that SG Eric Gordon and SF Tyreke Evans would sit out with unspecified illnesses. Coach Monty Williams did not mention their iffy status in a pregame conference an hour earlier. … New Orleans finished with 27 victories last season, and despite a rash of injuries, it has the same total this season with 18 games to play. “Obviously, we would like to be in an even better spot,” Williams said. … Memphis coach David Joerger said his team’s winning streak is a group effort. “When the ball goes in, it makes a lot of things easy,” Joerger said. The Grizzlies shot 53.2 percent from the field in back-to-back victories over the Charlotte Bobcats and Portland Trail Blazers. … Memphis lost the previous three meetings to the Pelicans. “Anthony Davis is going to be one of the best players in the NBA for the next 10 years,” Joerger said.
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