Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) – Mike Conley’s 22 points and seven assists led the way as the Memphis Grizzlies dealt the New York Knicks a historic loss, a 105-83 setback at FedExForum.
Marc Gasol and Tony Allen had 14 points each against a short-handed Knicks squad which suffered its 12th consecutive defeat, tying a franchise record set during the final stretch of the 1984-85 season.
Already without their top scorers, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, due to injury, the Knicks played without another key piece after sitting out sixth man J.R. Smith in advance of a three-team trade that was announced following the game.
New York shipped Smith and sidelined guard Iman Shumpert to Cleveland, while receiving rookie center Alex Kirk and forward Lou Amundson from the Cavaliers as well as forward Lance Thomas from Oklahoma City. The Knicks also netted a 2019 second-round pick from Cleveland and waived veteran center Samuel Dalembert to make room for the newcomers.
“As our journey moves through this season, we will search for the type of players that fit the style we hope to exhibit for our fans. Our desire is to improve our ability to compete,” said Knicks president Phil Jackson when announcing the trade. “In addition, these transactions improve our flexibility to the current roster and the salary cap for future seasons.”
Quincy Acy paced New York with 19 points and 14 rebounds, with Jose Calderon finishing with 13 points and six assists in the loss.
Despite their depleted lineup, the Knicks owned a 29-26 edge with five minutes remaining in the first half as Memphis struggled to hit shots.
The Grizzlies did get hot near the end of the second quarter, however, with Vince Carter draining a 3-pointer to ignite a 12-0 run that put Memphis ahead to stay.
Carter buried another triple near the conclusion of the half to send the Grizzlies into the break up by a 47-36 count.
A 15-2 stretch by Memphis midway through the third quarter put the game out of reach, with the flurry staking the home team to a commanding 75-53 advantage with under 4 1/2 minutes to go in the stanza. The Grizzlies made good on a scorching 72.7 percent of their field goal tries for the period, during which Conley poured in 14 points and Lee had 11.
“We were driving the ball. We were sharing the ball,” said Gasol. “We find the open guy and that way gets contagious.”
The Grizzlies held a lead of at least 17 points the rest of the way.
Memphis began the game on a 16-4 tear, with Conley accounting for eight of those points, and led 21-14 at the end of one quarter after the Knicks shot just 26.1 percent for the frame.
New York then began the second with an 8-1 spurt to knot the score at 22-22.
Anthony sat out a third straight game with a sore left knee, while Stoudemire missed a sixth in a row with a knee injury as well … Memphis finished with a 58-26 advantage in points in the paint … New York committed 21 turnovers that the Grizzlies converted into 28 points … Grizzlies reserve guard Beno Udrih returned from a two-game absence due to a leg injury and scored seven points in 15 minutes.