Crittenton has 23 as Grizzlies beat Knicks

April 2, 2008 7:55:42 PM PDT
Javaris Crittenton scored 23 points, Rudy Gay added 21, and the Memphis Grizzlies had their best offensive performance this season in a 130-114 victory Wednesday night over the New York Knicks, who hired Donnie Walsh as their new president earlier in the day.Michael Conley added 18 points, Juan Carlos Navarro had 16 and Mike Miller 15 as eight Grizzlies reached double figures. Memphis has won 20 games, two short of its total for last season, when the Grizzlies had the worst record in the NBA.

New York lost its fourth straight overall, its sixth in a row on the road and the ninth in 10 games.

Zach Randolph led New York with 27 points, and Jamal Crawford added 24. David Lee had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Renaldo Balkman had 11.

It wasn't a good day all around for Knicks coach Isiah Thomas. Asked why he wasn't at the news conference in New York to introduce Walsh, his new boss, Thomas said he was busy with his job as coach and to ask New York owner James Dolan why Walsh was introduced while he couldn't attend.

Then the few fans in attendance booed Thomas during team introductions.

The biggest cheer of the night came not for the Grizzlies nor the Knicks. Instead, it was when the public address announcer mentioned the Memphis Tigers playing Saturday in the national semifinal late in the third quarter.

Memphis took advantage of the struggling Knicks from the start, opening the game hitting almost every shot. The Grizzlies made 13 of their first 16 and led by as much as 28-11 on a fast-break dunk by Conley with 3:10 to go in the first quarter.

New York, playing its fourth of five road games and second in two nights, started cold and hit only four of its first 14.

Memphis kept scoring and led by as much as 20 when Conley hit a 3-pointer with 2:47 left in the second quarter for a 66-46 margin. When Miller hit a 3 for a 71-53 lead with 1:18 left, that gave the Grizzlies their most points in a first half this season. The Grizzlies even added a point after the buzzer.

Officials reviewed a foul called on Balkman, put 0.1 seconds back on for Miller to attempt two free throws. Miller missed the first and smiled, then hit the second for a 74-60 halftime lead.

The Grizzlies finished off the third quarter leading 101-89, and there was never any doubt that the Knicks' record against the Southwest Division (0-9) would get worse. The Knicks also remain winless in all 14 games against the Western Conference on the road.