Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/26/12
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- For 17 straight games, Dorrell Wright didn't score in double figures. But in the last four games prior to Wednesday night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies, he showed signs of life averaging 15 points. Against Memphis, Wright had liftoff in the FedExForum, exploding for 26 points as the 76ers hammered the Rudy Gay-less Grizzlies, 99-89. Gay wasn't even in the building because of personal reasons -- he supposedly got snowed in after going home to the Washington, D.C., area. Maybe his defense would have helped stop Wright, who came into Wednesday averaging 8 points, and that was after back-to-back efforts of 25 and 20 points a week ago at Dallas and at Houston. Wright had radar lock, hitting 7 of 10 shots, including 5 of 8 3-pointers. His last 3 with 2:50 left gave the 76ers an 11-point lead. The Grizzlies (18-8) also couldn't stop 76ers reserve center-forward Spencer Hawes, who scored 20 points and had nine rebounds. Thaddeus Young and Jrue Holiday added 12 each for Philadelphia, which improved to 14-15. Zach Randolph had 23 points and nine rebounds to lead Memphis. Marc Gasol contributed 18 points, but 12 of those came in the first quarter. Mike Conley and Tony Allen, the Grizzlies' starting guards, combined to shoot a frosty 6 of 25 as Memphis finished 38.9 percent (35-of-90) from the field. The 76ers were at 52.1 percent. Without Gay, the Grizzlies shot 60 percent or better for most of the first half. But Memphis made just 3 of its last 17 shots in the first half, watching a 10-point lead turn into a two-point halftime deficit. The 76ers got a nice boost from Hawes, whose 11 first-half points countered 12 by the Grizzlies' Gasol. Philadelphia also kept Randolph under control in the opening two quarters, limiting him to six points and five rebounds. Philadelphia extended its lead to 75-70 at the end of the third quarter thanks to the smooth-stroking Wright. He scored 10 of the 76ers' 26 points in the period, hitting 3 of 4 shots, including going 2-for-3 on 3-pointers. The 76ers led by 13 points with 7:13 left, but the Grizzlies closed the gap to seven points at the 4:03 mark on a Gasol layup off a pick-and-roll. NOTES: Rudy Gay, the Grizzlies' leading scorer, was a scratch for Wednesday's game for "personal reasons." Apparently, Gay went home for the holidays and his flight back to Memphis was canceled because of snowstorms pounding the northeast part of the country. ... There was no college reunion for former Michigan State teammates Zach Randolph of the Grizzlies and Jason Richardson of the 76ers. Richardson, who has been averaging 11.5 points and 4.3 rebounds off the bench, was a scratch for Wednesday's game, because of a lower back strain. ... The Grizzlies back-and-forth shuffle involving Josh Selby, Tony Wroten and the NBDL's Reno Bighorns continues. Selby was assigned to Reno on Dec. 17 and averaged 22 points in two games before being recalled on Dec. 22. The Griz waited until Wednesday to send rookie Wroten back to Reno for a second time this season. He averaged 13.3 points, 3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in six games in his first Reno assignment from Nov. 17-Dec. 17. ... 76ers coach Doug Collins played his final NBA season in 1980-81 with the 76ers, and one of his teammates was Grizzlies' coach Lionel Hollins. ... The Grizzlies had won three straight games over the 76ers entering Wednesday's game.
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