Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/20/12
MEMPHIS -- The Memphis Grizzlies haven't exactly been scintillating on offense lately. But they sure know how to play defense. The Grizzlies have held their past two opponents to fewer than 20 points in five of eight quarters, and they did enough Wednesday night to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 90-80 at FedExForum. Despite Memphis shooting just 40.9 percent from the field, including four missed dunks, the Grizzlies (17-6) won for the 21st time in their last 23 home games thanks to defense that limited the Bucks to 35.3 percent from the field. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, the Bucks' starting guards, were a combined 10-for-40 from the field. While Jennings scored a game-high 26 points, Ellis was only 1-for-14. The Grizzlies had five players score in double figures, including four starters. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol contributed double-doubles with their inside work, with Randolph going for 15 points and 17 rebounds. Gasol scored 12 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Rudy Gay, though he missed three dunks, finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists. It was Memphis' third straight win after its first three-game losing streak of the season. The Grizzlies finish a three-game homestand on Friday against Dallas. Milwaukee (13-11), which had won five of its previous six games, looked like it had dead legs on the second night of a back-to-back. The Bucks made just three of their first 16 shots and it never got much better. "The last 2 1/2 games our defensive intelligence has been excellent," Griz coach Lionel Hollins said. "The communication, the energy and the second and third effort defensively has been tremendous. I thought it was outstanding." NOTES: Prior to Hollins becoming the Grizzlies' coach in January 2009, he was an assistant from the Bucks for the first two months of the 2008-09 season. So when he reported for duty in Memphis, he brought the Bucks' playbook of coach Scott Skiles with him. "I just liked what they ran," Hollins said. "It fit what we were doing until we got Zach (Randolph) the next season." ... Three of the Grizzlies' TV and radio analysts -- Elliott Perry, Brevin Knight and Hank McDowell -- all played for the Bucks at some point of their NBA careers. Perry had the longest stint, playing three seasons from 1996-99. ... Griz point guard Mike Conley needs eight assists to pass Jason Williams as the franchise's all-time assists leader. Williams had 2,069 assists from 2001-05 and 2010-11. ... Bucks' guard Jennings has a history of abusing the Grizzlies, averaging 22.8 points against Memphis. Jennings entered Wednesday's game coming off a season high 34 points in a Tuesday win over Indiana.
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