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Gasol has 26 points, 12 boards to lead Grizzlies past Sixers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies are showing a knack for pulling out close games.

The Philadelphia 76ers were just too young and too short-handed to stop that trend.
Marc Gasol had 26 points and 12 rebounds, and Memphis finally put away the 76ers 96-91 on Tuesday night.

The victory was the Grizzlies' 11th straight that either went to OT or was decided by five points or fewer. Grizzlies coach David Fizdale said he hasn't determined the formula that allows the Grizzlies to escape in close encounters.

"All I know is that group in (the locker room) really believes in each other, and when it gets tough, they dig in," Fizdale said. "They know how to rise to the occasion when it calls for it."

To keep the streak going, Memphis scored the game's final seven points, erasing Philadelphia's lead with less than 2 minutes remaining, sending the Sixers to their eighth straight loss.

"We are all professionals, and we can't make excuses," said Philly forward Ersan Ilyasova, who led the Sixers with season bests of 23 points and 17 rebounds. "We have no margin for error."

Injuries and rest left the 76ers with only nine players dressed. But Philadelphia was scrappy enough to stay close until the closing minutes.

When Dario Saric, who had 17 points, scored inside, the Sixers led 91-89 with 1:57 remaining. But Zach Randolph, who had 12 points and 14 rebounds, scored inside and Memphis made enough free throws in the closing minutes.

JaMychal Green finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, including a pair of free throws with 4 seconds left to seal the Grizzlies' fourth straight win and 10th in the last 13.

Philadelphia committed 16 turnovers and was 13 of 26 from the foul line, contributing to the downfall.

"We came down with nine guys, and you are playing against a veteran, tough, playoff, hard Memphis team," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "We had a chance to win the game, and I was proud of their effort."

TIP-INS

Sixers: Earlier Tuesday, Philadelphia announced the hiring of recently retired forward Elton Brand as player development consultant. ... Philadelphia has dropped nine straight in the series, including a 104-99 double-overtime loss on Nov. 23. ... The Sixers, who lead the league in turnovers at 17.4 a game, committed 11 in the first half.

Grizzlies: Randolph played in his 1,000th career game -- 494 with the Grizzlies. ... Rookie Wade Baldwin recorded his first double-digit scoring game with 11 points. ... Memphis is 6-0 on the second night of back-to-backs.

RANDOLPH RETURNS

Randolph returned to the team after missing seven games following the death of his mother, Mae, on Thanksgiving Day. He received a standing ovation from the crowd when he entered the game in the first quarter. "It felt great to be back," the veteran forward said. "With my brothers out here and to compete. . Getting back into the mix and doing what I love."

SHORT-HANDED SQUADS

Sixers: Were without Jerryd Bayless (left wrist soreness); Robert Covington (left knee sprain); Joel Embiid (Rest), Nerlens Noel (inflamed left knee); Jahlil Okafor (gastroenteritis), Ben Simmons (acute fracture, right foot). For the Grizzlies: G Mike Conley (back injury), G Vince Carter (right hip injury), F Chandler Parsons (left knee soreness), F Brandan Wright (left ankle) and F James Ennis (right calf injury) all were out.

FUMBLED AWAY

Turnover problems plagued the Sixers down the stretch, allowing Memphis to pull away. After Memphis tied the game at 91, Philadelphia committed turnovers on consecutive possessions. On the next possession, the Sixers had four misses, including three tip attempts, and didn't score the rest of the way.

UP NEXT

Sixers: Continue their road trip, heading down the Mississippi River to face the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday.

Grizzlies: Will play the second of three home games this week on Thursday, facing the Portland Trail Blazers.

Related Video
Grizzlies win in Randolph's return
Grizzlies win in Randolph's return
In his first game since November 23, Zach Randolph records 12 points and 14 rebounds as Memphis defeats Philadelphia 96-91.

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