NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Mike Conley scored a season-high 26 points and the Memphis Grizzlies won their franchise-record fifth-straight road game, 104-100 over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night.
Conley scored nine in the final quarter as the Grizzlies overcame a nine-point deficit. Conley missed two free throws with 10.7 seconds left that gave the Hornets a chance to tie it, but James Posey turned the ball over and Rudy Gay dunked as time expired.
Zach Randolph had 23 points and 11 rebounds, hitting a 29-foot 3-point bank shot as the shot clock expired to give the Grizzlies a 96-95 lead with 1:20 left. Conley added a running floater with 26.4 seconds left and Randolph four key free throws.
Marcus Thornton scored 24 for New Orleans.
Fellow rookie Darren Collison added 17 points and 14 assists for the Hornets, who've lost three straight games and five of six while falling a half-game behind Memphis and farther out of the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Rudy Gay scored 15 and O.J. Mayo 13 for Memphis, while Marc Gasol added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Memphis led for most of the first three quarters and might have led throughout had they not missed 14 free throws.
New Orleans took its first lead of the game when Peja Stojakovic's layup made it 70-69 with 3:08 remaining in the third quarter.
Thornton's driving layup and 3 from the corner fueled a 10-1 New Orleans run that gave the Hornets their largest lead at 88-79 midway through the fourth quarter.
Thornton's third 3-pointer was his 81st of the season, tying a Hornets rookie record set by J.R. Smith in 2004-05.
Stojakovic scored 18 for the Hornets to go with nine rebounds, while David West had 15 points and tied a career high with five blocks. Emeka Okafor scored 10 points but grabbed only one rebound and played only 15 minutes, in part because of foul trouble and in part because reserve Aaron Gray was effective, contributing a season-high seven points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes.
Memphis never trailed in the first half and led by as much as nine when Sam Young's layup made it 39-30 in the second quarter.
Once again, the Hornets were forced to rely on their two rookies to stay in the game. Collison and Thornton combined for 27 of New Orleans' 51 first-half points. During one stretch in the second quarter, Thornton accounted for 11 straight Hornets points, pulling New Orleans as close as 43-41 on a 3-pointer.
Randolph scored 12 of his points in the first half, including a fast-break layup that put Memphis up 54-48 before Collison closed the half with a driving floater as he was fouled by Conley for a three-point play that made it 54-51 at halftime.
NOTES: Hornets power forward Darius Songaila returned to action in the second quarter after missing seven games with a right ankle sprain. He had four points in 16 minutes. ... Gay missed a soaring windmill dunk and fell to the court when he appeared to be hacked on the arm by Okafor, but no foul was called, much to Gay's chagrin. Later, Gay was called for a technical when he was stripped on a drive and no foul was called. ... Thornton has scored in double digits in nine straight games. ... Randolph was assessed a technical foul for arguing with officials who'd whistled him for a blocking foul on Thornton's drive.