A 54-49 halftime lead for Memphis quickly increased in the third quarter Friday night against the New York Knicks. The Grizzlies exploded after the break, outscoring the Knicks 31-18 in the third and finished the quarter up 85-67.
In a matchup of the best records in the NBA, the Grizzlies showed a national TV audience that they are for real in 2012. The 105-95 victory gave Memphis its seventh straight win and improved the record to 7-1, the best in the Western Conference.
On a night in which Memphis's leading scorer Rudy Gay was held to 17 points, the Grizzlies showed their depth and ability to find points from other places. Center Marc Gasol lead all scorers with a season-high 24 points. Tough man Zach Randolph threw in 20, and starting guard Mike Conley, Jr. added 16.
The Knicks, who entered the contest averaging 103.5 points a game, were stifled by the tough Memphis defense. Before Friday night, the Knicks were second in the league, shooting 43 percent on three pointers. In Memphis, they shot just 22 percent from beyond the arc.
New York had no answer for Memphis' frontcourt defense and were totally dominated on the glass. Randolph lead everyone with 15 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end. Gasol added seven rebounds to the win.
After starting out well, the Knicks fell behind quickly in the second half. Fouls and turnovers added to New York's demise.
New York was clearly frustrated by the officiating in the game. Memphis got to the charity stripe 32 times, compared to just 21 for the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony and Rasheed Wallace both received technical fouls in the third quarter for arguing calls. J.R. Smith was also called for a flagrant foul in the same quarter.
The Knicks did bounce back in the fourth, outscoring Memphis 28-20, but it proved to be too little too late. Carmelo Anthony finished as the leading scorer for New York, pouring 20 points into the losing effort.
Memphis will look to continue its winning streak on Saturday night when the Charlotte Bobcats come to town.