MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Zach Randolph runs out of gas: As unstoppable as the Grizzlies’ All-Star forward looked in the third quarter, he was practically invisible when it mattered most. After a 17-point outburst in the third, he was held scoreless in the final period, finishing with 23 points and 20 rebounds.
Randolph, more a wily veteran than spry athlete, typically struggles with front-lines like New Orleans’ — lengthy, active, and agile. Though Pelicans coach Monty Williams was certainly glad that Randolph couldn’t assert himself in the fourth quarter, he still expressed a nostalgic appreciation for a player of Randolph’s skill-set and caliber.
“He’s a throwback,” Williams said. “Guys like Zach are the kind of guys you relish when you don’t have them. … He’s a guy that can pass out of the post and draw double-teams and get it done with a double-double every single night.
“I coached him. I know the value of having him. I just think he’s one of the underrated players in the post in the NBA.”
Evans’ goes off in fourth
Tyreke Evans, once loved in the FedExForum as the point guard for the University of Memphis, became an image of despair for Memphians Monday afternoon. Though he was mostly quiet for the first three quarters, he couldn’t be stopped in the final period, scoring 11 of his 15 points there. Guarded by the aging Tayshaun Prince, Evans, fresh off an ankle injury, blew by him in every one-on-one situation, including his game-sealing dish to Anthony Davis.
Evans also had seven assists.
“We struggled to stay in front of him,” Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said. “Both James Johnson and Tayshaun Prince were the two good guys I had on him. He did a good job of getting to the rim. There’s a reason they gave him the money that they gave him. He’s really good, as we all know here in Memphis.”
Something about Memphis
There may be no better antidote to the Pelicans’ struggles than a game against the Memphis Grizzlies. With Monday’s win, the Pelicans moved to 3-0 against the Grizzlies this season.
The Pelicans beat the Grizzlies on Nov. 6 and again at New Orleans Arena on Dec. 13.
So what is it about the matchup against the Grizzlies that’s so favorable for New Orleans?
“Our bigs really play well defensively,” Eric Gordon said. “I think against them you just have to keep on scoring, keep on scoring and attacking them. When you have Gasol and Randolph, as guards, you have to find a way to attack them all the time and offensively make them work against you.”