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BASKETBALL

Grizzlies beat Hornets, tie for 7th

Zach Randolph scored 28 points, Tony Allen added 17 and the Memphis Grizzlies held the New Orleans Hornets to a season-low 12 points in the first quarter, winning 93-81 on Friday night.

The Grizzlies outrebounded New Orleans 40-28 and answered every run with easy baskets, pulling into a tie with the Hornets for seventh place in the Western Conference.

Randolph and Marc Gasol had double-doubles, both finishing with 10 rebounds. Gasol had 13 points.

Carl Landry led New Orleans with 19 points and Marco Belinelli scored 14. Chris Paul added 13 assists but shot just 2 of 8 from the field.

The Grizzlies went ahead 17-6 in the first quarter and never looked back. After Landry scored to open the game, New Orleans missed 15 of its next 20 shots.

The Hornets came as close as 59-53 in the second half on Belinelli's 3-pointer, but Randolph and Allen combined for the Grizzlies' next 11 points as they went back ahead 70-54.

After the Hornets pulled within 71-61 at the end of the third quarter, Grizzlies reserve O.J. Mayo closed them out, making three of Memphis' first four baskets in the fourth quarter and throwing a circus pass to Randolph for a layup on the other.

Memphis led by at least nine points the rest of the way. Another layup by Randolph gave the Grizzlies a double-digit advantage for good.

Memphis stifled New Orleans defensively all night. After their dreadful first quarter, the Hornets had two shot-clock violations in the second quarter. Paul missed his first five shots before finally scoring early in the third period.

While the Hornets could not buy a basket, Memphis scored six points on buzzer-beaters at the end of the first and second quarters.

Mayo hit a 3-pointer with less than a second left in the first quarter to give the Grizzlies a 23-12 lead. Gasol took a length-of-the-court pass from Shane Battier in front of the Hornets' bench with 2.1 seconds left in the half, fumbled it, picked it up and heaved a prayer over Willie Green that banked in from a bad angle.

It was only Gasol's third 3-pointer of the season, and his teammates mobbed him while officials checked a replay to make sure he had released the ball before the buzzer.

Randolph had a team-high 13 points in the half, with Allen chipping in 11.

Notes: Memphis is 25-10 in its last 35 games and has won six of seven. New Orleans had won the first two games of the series. The teams play again in Memphis on April 10. The Hornets were called for five illegal screens.