Mar 3, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard O.J. Mayo (32) shoots the ball against Detroit Pistons point guard Rodney Stuckey (3) during the fourth quarter at the FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE
With 9:33 remaining in the game, the Memphis Grizzlies once again found themselves behind the Detroit Pistons. The streaking Grizzlies (22-15) were looking for their 4th win a row, but trailed the Pistons (12-26) for the majority of the game. However, there appeared to be at least one person who wasn't content with giving away a winnable game--OJ Mayo. With just over 9 minutes left, he buried a 3 to give Memphis the lead. His energy sparked a renewed fervor in the previously complacent home team, who would go on a 20-3 run over the next 6 minutes. During that time, the Grizzlies' 6th man buried 3 shots from long range, including a shot from 26 feet. With Mayo's heroics leading the charge, Memphis easily overcame the Pistons 100-83.
Though Mayo was clearly the star of last night's game, almost all of the home players made a strong contribution with 7 Grizzlies scoring double digits. Mike Conley was especially key to Memphis' attack; although he struggled to score, the point guard ran a virtually mistake-free offense the entire game, recording 12 assists and only turning the ball over once.
A win like this can do nothing but bolster the confidence of this Memphis team. With games against Golden State and Phoenix coming, the Grizzlies will be looking to continue their winning streak. Another source of optimism will the be the return of All-Star forward Zach Randolph. Though the team has yet to announce a return date, Randolph has stated that his rehabilitation is on track. His return to the lineup will allow Marreese Speights, who was acquired in a 3-team trade in December, to come off the bench. Speights has filled in admirably for Randolph, averaging 8.5 points and 6.4 rebounds since his trade to Memphis, and will strengthen Memphis' reserves even further.