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Grizzlies 96, Bucks 83

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After getting a reboot during the end of a forgettable Eastern road swing, the Memphis Grizzlies regained their balance as a team and rolled to a 96-83 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night before a sellout crowd of 18,119 at FedEx Forum.

Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger sat center Mark Gasol, power forward Zach Randolph, point guard Mike Conley and dervish Tony Allen on Thursday while Memphis endured a 20-point national TV loss at Washington.

On Saturday, a sputtering Grizzlies offense found a modest spark by the end of the first quarter and by game’s end everybody seemed to get into the act.

All five Grizzlies starters finished in double figures, led by 17 points from struggling shooting guard Courtney Lee and 15 each from forwards Jeff Green and Randolph.

Beno Udrih, subbing for Conley (ankle sprain), had 15 points and Gasol had 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists despite missing some of the first half with a knee tweak.

The Grizzlies shot 47.4 percent from the field and were 8 of 14 from 3-point range, getting two each from Green, Lee, Udrih and guard Vince Carter.

The Bucks were led by 19 points from forward Giannis Antetokokounmpo, including 13 in the first half. Guard Khris Middleton added 17, center Zaza Pachulia 14 and forward Ersan Ilyasova 12.

But after the Bucks closed to 63-58 early in the third quarter, they were never a factor. The Grizzlies went on a 15-3 run to close the quarter, sparked by two buckets from Randolph and then a feed to Allen for a three-point play.

The Bucks got the first punch in, bolting to a 14-4 lead behind six quick points from Antetokokounmpo. Memphis continued a trend of flat-footed starts, turning the ball over four times in the first four minutes.

But a couple of mid-range jumpers each from Udrih and Lee led to a burst of muscle by Randolph, and that seemed oil the gears for the Grizzlies, who chased the Bucks down and took a 22-20 lead by the end of the quarter.

Memphis stretched the lead to double digits in the second quarter before a couple of late 3-pointers helped Milwaukee close to 49-42 at the break.

Gasol left the game with 3:11 left in the second quarter after tweaking his right knee on a collision. He went to the dressing room briefly but came back, scored three buckets and also finished the half with five assists.

NOTES: The Grizzlies limped home after a 1-3 trip that ended with coach Dave Joerger sitting starters Mark Gasol, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and defensive stopper Tony Allen in a 107-87 loss at Washington. “You don’t do that for short-term response but more long-term. We’d been scaling back their minutes already,” said Joerger, whose team had played eight games in 12 days. “What you do hope to see when they come back is some energy and fight.” … Conley was inactive for the second straight game with an ankle sprain suffered in Wednesday’s loss at Boston. Beno Udrih took his place. “He’s day to day, and I’m in no hurry,” Joerger said of Conley. … Grizzlies F Jon Leuer (back contusion) was a game-time decision. … The Grizzlies were 6-6 since the All-Star break entering Saturday’s game and had 21 turnovers against Boston and 23 against Washington before coming home. … The Bucks had lost seven straight road games and were 4-8 since the break, punctuated by a trade that brought in three new players, notably G Michael Carter-Williams, who had his best game with the Bucks (28 points, 12 of 15 FTs) in Wednesday’s 109-103 overtime loss at Indiana. “We’re 10 days after the trade and those guys are getting a little better each day,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. … Bucks subs Jerryd Bayless (ankle) and O.J. Mayo (hamstring), both former Grizzlies, returned to Memphis on Saturday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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