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Posted By Mark Anthony Williams On Jan 16 2011 @ 1:14 pm In Memphis Grizzlies | No Comments

Zach Randolph continues his All Star play leading the Memphis Grizzlies (19-21) with 23 points and 20 rebounds.  Memphis continues their dominating play at home with their 12-6 record. Darrell Arthur added 17 points with 6/8 shooting.  Rudy Gay added 16 points.  Memphis enjoyed their second straight win.

In stark contract, the Dallas Mavericks (26-13) have clearly hit rock bottom.  After going 2-7 while All Star Dirk Nowitzki was out with a knee injury, the Mavs were certainly looking forward to their power forwards return.  Unfortunately for Maverick fans, Nowitzki’s return was simply a tease versus redemption. 

 Nowitzki was ejected from the game in the third quarter when he was awarded consecutive technicals after argue fouls with the referees.  This year, the NBA implemented a strict rule of “no arguing with the refs” to minimize the badgering the NBA refs routinely have received from players in past years.

 Nowitzki became clearly frustrated because he got stuck guarding Zack Randolph.  Randolph was having another outstanding game at Nowitzki’s expense while Nowitzki was just trying to shake off the rust of missing 9 straight games.  Dallas was just 2-7 without Nowitzki.

 To compound the Mavs woes in the interior, center Tyson Chandler did not play due to illness leaving the Mavs very thin in the paint.  Nowitzki had just 7 points and 5 rebounds before his dismissal.  Ian Mahinmi had a career high 17 points off the bench for Dallas.  Dallas starters scored only 26 points.

 Memphis returned to their tried and proven system of consistently working the ball inside  (44 points in the paint).  With Nowitzki nursing his bad knee and Chandler out, the paint was ripe for prosecution by the Grizzlies.  Randolph dominated the game from the start with a double/double in the first quarter alone (17 points, 11 rebounds).  Dallas had no answers for Randolph as he shared the spotlight the rest of the game with his teammates. 

 The Grizzlies were up by 12 after the first quarter and lead 46-36 at half.  The Grizzlies again put their game away in the third quarter out scoring Memphis by 9 points and lead 67-48.  Memphis held Dallas to season lows in points (70), shooting percentage (32%) and 3 point shooting percentage (6 of 31 shots).

The Grizzlies are hitting their stride with a 5-2 win streak as they approach a 500 winning percentage.  The Grizzlies face the red hot Chicago Bulls (27-13) Monday night at home.  The Grizzlies will have their opportunity to prove their medal with 5 of their next 7 games on the road.  The Grizzles have struggled on the road this year but with a win at Detroit last week, Memphis fans are hoping their Grizzlies can carry their momentum out on the road.

 Mark Anthony Williams

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