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Mayo lifts Memphis over shorthanded Hornets

Feb 10, 2009 - 4:54 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Rookie O.J. Mayo posted his first career double-double, leading the Memphis Grizzlies to an 85-80 victory over the shorthanded New Orleans Hornets on Monday.

Mayo scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds. The 21-year-old, who shot 7-of-17 from the field, also dished out five assists.

"Our bigs did a great job of keeping their bigs off the glass, and it gave us guards an opportunity to get in there and get some loose rebounds," said Mayo, who finished two boards shy of tying Bryant Reeves' rookie franchise record for rebounds in a single game.

Mike Conley finished with 18 points and eight assists and Hakim Warrick added 15 points and 14 boards for the Grizzlies, who overcame 18 turnovers and playing without forward Rudy Gay.

"(Conley) is definitely more aggressive right now than he was at the beginning of the season. He's making us a better team," Mayo said. "He's doing a terrific job of getting in the lane. They have to respect him now because he can finish and he can find guys. He's definitely making it an easier ball game for all of us."

Peja Stojakovic poured in 23 points and Antonio Daniels and James Posey added 11 apiece for the Hornets, who were without All-Star point guard Chris Paul, center Tyson Chandler, shooting guard Morris Peterson and suspended forward David West.

"It would be nice to have all our guys back," New Orleans head coach Byron Scott said. "I'm looking forward to having those guys back as soon as possible, but I'm not going to jeopardize them for one game. If they're healthy and ready to go, then they'll play."

Memphis dominated the boards, collecting a franchise-record 64 rebounds - including 20 on the offensive end - en route to its fourth win in five games.

The Grizzlies also became the first team since the 1959-60 season to hold consecutive opponents under 30-percent shooting. The St. Louis Hawks were the last team to pull off the feat.

"We're talking a lot more. We're being very loud and we're communicating," Conley said. "Guys are playing hard defense on their man, and in 1-on-1 defense, we're trying to keep our own man out of the paint as well as help the other person.

"We're taking a lot of pride into it right now and it's finally starting to come together."

After James Posey's free throws cut the deficit to 80-77 with 1:27 remaining in the contest, New Orleans did not have another possession until 18 ticks left. During that stretch, the Grizzlies pulled down four offensive rebounds and won a jump ball.

"It all boiled down to us getting stops, and we couldn't get them," Scott said. "Anytime you give a team 20 offensive rebounds in a game, you're going to be at a disadvantage. We did a terrible job on the defensive boards, and they just killed us."

Marc Gasol, who collected 10 points and 10 boards, made one of his two free-throw attempts after being fouled when he grabbed the rebound off Conley's missed layup with 18 seconds to play.

Stojakovic then missed a 3-pointer and fouled Greg Buckner, who hit both free throws to extend Memphis' lead to six with 10 ticks remaining.

Posey followed with a 3-pointer three seconds later to make it 83-80, but Mayo sealed the win with a pair of free throws.

"It was an ugly game, but it's always beautiful when you execute and win these games," Memphis interim coach Lionel Hollins said. "Both teams were a little bit depleted with the offensive people, but we were able to hang on."