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January 18, 2008 5:08 PM

Memphis game thread

Posted by Jayda Evans

NO GO: Jones was stuck at seven assists, but his team won, breaking a five-game losing streak. Memphis shot 52 percent from the field and the Sonics couldn't get it rolling on either end of the court, losing their ninth consecutive game -- the longest losing streak of the season.

TAKING BETS: So, Jones has 16 points and 11 boards with seven assists, anyone think he can get three more assists for his first NBA triple-double? There's 6:05 remaining in the game and the Grizzlies are up 114-88.

WHERE'S THE D?: The Grizzlies are 12-for-23 from three-point range and the Supes are showing no interest in defending the perimeter. I will cut PG Luke Ridnour some slack on one made three, though, since it was an awkward shot at the shot-clock buzzer. But still. Jones just hit another three and has a new career high of 16 points (and counting), playing his most minutes this season.

STANDING O: Jones and Memphis just received a standing ovation from the sparse crowd for their hustle on defense, picking off Earl Watson in back-to-back plays. The Supes' play is really embarrassing, but it's more of a collective lack of focus than disinterest. They're down 68-47 at the half and you can tell the losing is getting to the players, so they're not concentrating like they should. Memphis is also extremely hot, shooting 56 percent from the field compared to Seattle's 37.7.

SHARPTON SIGHTING: Civil Rights activist Al Sharpton is sitting baseline adjacent to the Memphis bench. My guess is he's in town for a program related to MLK Day on Monday.

PURPLE PRIDE: Perhaps Carlesimo shouldn't have worn purple today. Seeing the mock turtleneck and finally getting some minutes has Jones playing like he's back at Hec Ed. He's leading a charge for Memphis, pulling down seven boards and scoring seven points to help the Grizzlies to a 44-29 lead with 8:22 remaining before halftime.

EVERYBODY SCORES: The first quarter just ended and the Supes are down 32-25. Seattle has given up 30 points or more in four of their past five quarters. F Pau Gasol is leading for the Grizzlies with 12 points while the Supes have received scoring from nine players led by Wally Szczerbiak's seven on 3-for-5 shooting from the field.

WEST DRESSED: Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo thought it best to keep G Delonte West on the bench for one more night, but the player is dressed to play. Carlesimo said he'd most likely only use West in emergency situations - foul trouble or in a tight game to pull out a win with some scoring (yeah, West hasn't exactly been shooting well of late, but that's what coach said). With Grizzlies F Rudy Gay out with an illness, it's possible the Sonics could be playing for a win.

Here are tonight's starters:

F Jeff Green
F Nick Collison
C Kurt Thomas
G Kevin Durant
G Earl Watson

F Mike Miller
F Pau Gasol
C Darko Milicic
G Bobby Jones
G Mike Conley

The officials are Scott Foster, David Jones, and Eli Roe.

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