for this game

Gay, Miller help Grizzlies rout Bulls

Jan 22, 2008 - 2:17 AM By Jason Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Rudy Gay and Mike Miller each had 24 points and 10 rebounds as four players notched double-doubles for the Memphis Grizzlies in a 104-90 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday at FedEx Forum.

Chicago, the NBA's worst shooting team entering Monday's game, finished just 36.5 percent (35-of-96) from the floor, while Memphis connected on 52 percent (37-of-71), including 13-of-18 in the fourth quarter, to earn just its second victory in its last eight games.

"It was nice to see a strong, passionate defensive effort tonight," first-year Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "There were a lot of deflections and a lot of activity. Rudy Gay on the glass - it was good to see. He needs to do that every night."

The Grizzlies, who went 9-of-11 from the field over the first 7:18 of the fourth quarter, also got 12 points and 10 rebounds from Pau Gasol and 10 and 10 assists from rookie point guard Mike Conley Jr. in front of their first sellout of the season.

"They were loud," Iavaroni said. "The team brought the energy, and Memphis always has a responsive crowd."

Ben Gordon and Andres Nocioni combined to score 41 points off the bench for the Bulls, but the Grizzlies' starting backcourt of Miller and Conley outscored Chicago's Thabo Sefolosha and Kirk Hinrich, 34-18.

"We haven't been consistent effort-wise, and our record is indicative of that," Chicago interim coach Jim Boylan said. "We can't just have one, two or three guys giving us an effort; we have to have all five.

"Even the good teams that don't have great records are coming to play. Memphis just outplayed us in every area effort-wise tonight."

Gay's 3-pointer from the right corner with 2:07 left to play in the third quarter gave Memphis a 70-54 lead, its biggest of the game to that point.

But Nocioni nailed a pair of 3-pointers over the final 1:09 of the third quarter to help the Bulls cut their deficit to 74-62 after three quarters.

"We played considerably better today," said Hinrich, who finished with 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting and six assists. "But we didn't do a good enough job being physical or aggressive. We just didn't play good enough to win.

"We had some good looks, but we kind of rushed some of them and got into a desperation mode. We just have to do whatever we can as a team to muster up a run before the All-Star break."

Memphis closed out the first half with a 12-0 run to lead 48-35 at the break after Luol Deng's putback dunk cut the Grizzlies' lead to 36-35 with 3:34 left in the second quarter.

Conley and Miller, who combined to score 21 first-half points, each scored four during the spurt, helping Memphis outscore Chicago, 26-18, in the second quarter.

"We wanted to come out aggressive from the start, and I thought we did that," Conley said. "I thought we played solid basketball. We were just trying to get up and down, and I think that we out-ran them tonight."

"Our defense was good for us," added Miller, who finished 8-of-14 from the field. "Anytime you make a team miss shots, we get a chance to run."

Gordon finished with 25 points to lead the Bulls, who fell to 3-11 this season against Western Conference teams.

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