By Clay Bailey
February 06, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — New Orleans Hornets reserve Ryan Anderson is quite the matchup problem. Memphis’ scouting report on the 6-foot-10 forward said to treat him like a shooting guard.
The Grizzlies had the right approach, but they still couldn’t stop him.
Anderson scored 22 points, connecting on seven 3-pointers, and New Orleans beat Memphis 91-83 on Sunday night.
Anderson was 7 of 13 from the field, all of his attempts coming from outside the arc. He capped a late Hornets surge with a big shot that helped secure the win.
“He was huge for us,” said point guard Greivis Vasquez, who finished with 11 assists. “This man is an underrated shooter. People don’t give him enough credit. This guy can shoot.”
Fellow reserve Jason Smith was 5 of 7 from the field for 16 points, and Anthony Davis was the only New Orleans starter to finish in double figures with 10 points.
Zach Randolph led Memphis with 20 points and 13 rebounds for his league-leading 28th double-double. Marc Gasol had 14 points and 11 boards, and Jerryd Bayless also scored 14. Rudy Gay had 10 points but was 3 for 17 from the field, including a 1-for-7 performance from long range.
“Just taking too many jump shots,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. “Wasn’t just him, but in the first quarter when he had the chance, we just took a lot of jump shots. Took a lot of jump shots, and we stopped making them.”
New Orleans put the game away by outscoring Memphis 27-15 in the fourth quarter, and coach Monty Williams said it was a tough defensive approach, and the ability of guys to make shots in key situations that made a difference.
“We don’t have enough offensive firepower to go out and try to outscore teams,” Williams said. “We have to play a game that is relatively ugly at times. Certain guys have to step up and make shots when certain shots are presented to them according to the flow of the offense.”
The Grizzlies, who had won two in a row, played most of the game without starting point guard Mike Conley, who turned his ankle in the first quarter and did not return.
Conley’s left foot was in a boot after the game. He said the pain was more bone than ankle, but X-rays were negative, and he said he will see about playing at Philadelphia on Monday.
Neither team shot well. The Hornets finished at 43 percent, dragged down by Vasquez’s 2-for-16 night.
“I shot the ball terrible,” Vasquez said, “but it feels good to win the way we did. Guys like Jason played great.”
Gasol was 5 for 14 for Memphis, which shot 36 percent. Gay missed 10 of 11 shots in the second half, including all four in the final quarter.
The game was close until New Orleans pulled away in the final five minutes. There were 17 lead changes and 16 ties.
“It was a domino effect,” Gasol said. “We got down a couple of times because we couldn’t execute and weren’t running our stuff, and they were executing. Every time they looked for something, they found it. They hit some big shots at the end, and they pulled away.”