Griz beat Knicks, snap 18-game road skid

March 21, 2008 7:10:04 PM PDT
Mike Miller scored 24 of his 34 points in the first half, and the Memphis Grizzlies snapped an 18-game road losing streak Friday night with a 120-106 victory over the New York Knicks.Rudy Gay added 24 points for the Grizzlies, who stormed to a 19-point halftime lead, blew it all before the end of the third quarter, then pulled away again for their first win outside Memphis since beating Indiana on Jan. 2. Miller was scoreless in the third quarter, then had 10 in the fourth to help the Grizzlies improve to 4-18 since trading Pau Gasol.

Juan Carlos Navarro finished with 17 points before a large contingent of flag-waving, chanting Spaniards who gave this the feel of an Olympic game. Meanwhile, the Knicks countered with a lineup better suited for summer league.

Though speculation and common sense make it hard to believe he's part of it, Knicks coach Isiah Thomas is thinking of the team's future, so he benched Zach Randolph so he could start Randolph Morris along with rookie Wilson Chandler. Thomas said he plans to do the same thing Saturday at Minnesota - another team the Knicks are competing with for better draft position.

Jamal Crawford, the only member of New York's preferred starting lineup who played, scored 22 points. Nate Robinson had 18 and Chandler 17 for the Knicks (19-49), who have lost three straight, 10 of 11, and matched their loss total from all of last season.

Miller opened and Navarro closed a 14-0 spurt with 3-pointers late in the second quarter as Memphis turned a two-point game into a 58-42 lead. Miller nailed three more 3-pointers before the break as the Grizzlies took a 69-50 lead after their highest-scoring first half of the season.

The Knicks returned from the locker room and scored the first 18 points. New York eventually tied it at 90 on Mardy Collins' steal and dunk with 33 seconds left, but Kyle Lowry made two free throws 20 seconds later to send Memphis to the final period with a two-point lead.

Hakim Warrick and Miller converted consecutive three-point plays in the fourth as Memphis pushed the lead back up to 19. Warrick had 11 points and 10 rebounds.