No Conley, no problem.
Playing without starting point guard Mike Conley, the Grizzlies held on to defeat the Bucks 99-90 on Saturday night. Conley suffered an ankle injury in Friday’s win over the Timberwolves and is expected to miss at least a week.
In his absence, Nick Calathes stepped in as the starting point guard and scored 22 points to go with five boards and three assists. Zach Randolph added 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Marc Gasol chipped in 19 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Memphis out-rebounded Milwaukee 48-38 and scored 46 points in the paint compared to the Bucks’ 32.
Milwaukee, which led 49-43 at halftime, was paced by 23 points, six rebounds and seven assists from Brandon Knight. In his second straight start, Nate Wolters added nine points in 24 minutes. Ersan Ilyasova had a double-double (14 points, 13 rebounds), and Caron Butler contributed 10 points in 21 minutes off the bench.
The Bucks jumped out to a rare first quarter lead and carried a two-point advantage all the way into the fourth quarter. That lead quickly disappeared, as a James Johnson layup with 10:10 remaining gave Memphis a 73-71 lead that would not be relinquished. Nick Calathes hit a pair of open threes, the second of which put Memphis ahead 83-73 with 6:22 remaining. Back-to-back threes from Gary Neal and Khris Middleton cut the deficit to eight with just under two minutes remaining, but Memphis was able to close out the victory at the free throw line.
– Giannis Antetokounmpo came off the bench for the second consecutive game and managed just three points and one assist in 20 minutes. He went for 15 points and seven rebounds Friday in Orlando.
– Zaza Pachulia made his long-awaited return after missing nearly two months with a foot injury. Pachulia played 12 minutes off the bench and made both of his field goal attempts, finishing with four points and one rebound.
– Larry Sanders followed up Friday’s 10-point, nine-rebound performance with 10 points and eight rebounds Saturday. He also added two blocks in 30 minutes.
– Luke Ridnour was a DNP-CD for the second straight game. The 32-year-old averaged 6.9 points and 4.3 assists while shooting 38.5 percent from the field in the month of January.
– Former Buck and Wisconsin Badger Jon Leuer had eight points and five rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench. Leuer had played in only one of the previous five games.
Points: Knight (23), Randolph (23)
Rebounds: Ilyasova (13), Randolph (10)
Assists: Knight (7), Lee (7)
Blocks: Sanders (2), Gasol/Johnson (2)