Grizzlies 96, Bobcats 88


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Eddie Jones hit a 16-foot jumper that barely beat the shot clock with 41 seconds to play, sealing the Memphis Grizzlies’ 96-88 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.

Although the Grizzlies were in control for most of the second half, they never could put Charlotte away and clung to an 89-88 lead with 1:37 to play.

But Chucky Atkins made a pair of free throws for Memphis to make it 91-88, then Jones hit his long jumper to make it a five-point game. Seconds later, he blocked Matt Carroll’s 3-point attempt. Pau Gasol was fouled in the battle for the rebound, went to the line and made one free throw for a 94-88 lead.

Raymond Felton missed a 3 for Charlotte, Mike Miller got the rebound and made both free throws to make it 96-88.

Jones led six players in double figures with 16 points for the Grizzlies, who remained in line for the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They started the night with a half-game lead over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Atkins, Gasol and Miller scored 15 points each, Lorenzen Wright had 12 and Shane Battier scored 10.

Gerald Wallace led the Bobcats with 17 points. Felton had 14 points and 13 assists, Carroll scored 14 off the bench and Primoz Brezec scored 13.

The Bobcats complained about what they thought was uneven officiating the entire game. They may have had a point: Memphis went to the free throw line 38 times compared to just 16 for the Bobcats. And after Jones’ big basket, Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff was convinced that Jones fouled Carroll on his block.

Charlotte led by six with 6:19 to play in the third quarter, but the Grizzlies outscored them 19-8 the rest of the way and did it from long range. The run was marked with four 3-pointers – all by different Memphis players – and put the Grizzlies on top 72-67 at the start of the fourth.

Miller then opened the fourth with another 3 to push the lead to 75-67 and the Grizzlies never looked back.

NOTES: Charlotte guard Brevin Knight did not play because of a strained right groin. Alan Anderson started in his place and finished with four points and one assist. … The Bobcats started their 27th different lineup, ranked second in the NBA to New York’s 42. … The Grizzlies are one of just six NBA teams that have yet to lose to the Bobcats since they entered the NBA last season. … This was Memphis’ first visit to Charlotte’s new arena, making them the last team to play here. … David “Oggie” Ogron of the Miracle Golf Tour set a world record at halftime by hitting 155 golf balls into a net in two minutes.

AP-ES-04-12-06 2217EDT