NBA: Hornets roll past Memphis
By CLAY BAILEY
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb scored 21 points apiece, and the Charlotte Hornets built an early lead on the way to a 104-85 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.
Walker and Lamb were a combined 14 of 25 from the field, including 7 for 13 on 3-point attempts. The rest of the Hornets were 2 of 13 from outside the arc.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 14 points and Frank Kaminsky added 12 for the Hornets, who won their second straight after a four-game losing streak. Lamb grabbed nine rebounds.
Marc Gasol led Memphis with 19 points and eight rebounds. Mike Conley had 15 points before leaving in the third quarter with a lower back injury.
The Grizzlies have lost two of three.
The largest scoring discrepancy in the game was at the free throw line where the Hornets, who missed three of their first four, ended the game converting 23 of 31. Meanwhile, Memphis was 6 of 13, a difference that agitated the Grizzlies much of the night.
Charlotte, which already led by 19 points in the first half, extended the lead in the third as Memphis became unhinged complaining about calls and relying — mostly unsuccessfully — on 3-pointers to try to get back in the game.
Meanwhile, the Hornets steadily built the advantage with balanced scoring. Conley went to the locker room with an injury in the third quarter, leading to more disorganized play from Memphis.
Charlotte, one of the best second-half teams in the league, never really let Memphis back in the game after the break. The Grizzlies made a run early in the third, but the Hornets had an answer each time.
Charlotte dominated the first half as Kidd-Gilchrist had 14 points and Lamb scored 11, including converting his first two 3-pointers, part of the Hornets hitting 5 of 14 from distance.
The Hornets would lead by 10 in the first quarter and eventually extend it to 19 in the half before carrying a 56-39 lead into the locker room, fueled by Charlotte outscoring Memphis 31-14 in the second quarter.
Hornets: G Nicolas Batum, who missed Saturday’s win over the Knicks with a corneal abrasion, returned to action and started. He finished with six points. . After committing five turnovers in the first quarter, the Hornets had nine more the rest of the way. Charlotte has the second-lowest turnover average in the league at 11.6. . Lamb set a season-high in points for the second straight game. His had 18 against the Knicks on Saturday.
Grizzlies: The 14 points in the second quarter was a season-low in that frame for Memphis, and a season-low for any quarter except nine points in the fourth against New Orleans in the fifth game of the season. . Conley left the game with 8:25 left in the third quarter after taking a charge from Kidd-Gilchrist. He did not return with what the team classified as a lower back injury. … Gasol recorded a 4-point play for Memphis near the midway point of the fourth.
YOU GET A TECH, YOU GET A TECH and YOU GET A TECH: Memphis got called for three technical fouls in the game, most in frustration over calls, including one for coach David Fizdale late in the third.
Hornets: Return home Tuesday to face the Detroit Pistons.
Grizzlies: Travel to Toronto to face the Raptors on Wednesday, the sixth of seven straight games against Eastern Conference teams.
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