MILWAUKEE (AP) - Zach Randolph's record-setting consistency and Marc Gasol's strong performances down low have the Memphis Grizzlies convinced they can erase their erratic ways in time for a playoff push.
Gasol scored 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds - his first 20-10 game of the season - and Randolph had his franchise-best 10th straight double-double in the Grizzlies' 94-81 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.
``We're trying to make the next step,' said Gasol, who had eight games of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds last year. ``We've been really up and down. When we win a couple of games, we get really confident and when we lose a couple, we get down.'
Randolph finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, his 30th double-double, and Memphis is on a two-game winning streak again after also beating Houston on Friday night.
The Grizzlies have eight winning streaks and seven losing streaks of at least two games this season.
Randolph, who had been feeling sick, had no clue he had erased a 12-year club mark.
``I set a record today? I didn't know that. Hopefully, I can keep it going for another 10 more games,' Randolph said. ``The game is played inside-out. That is how the game is played. You know that is what coach preaches. That is how we draw it up.'
Reserve Earl Boykins scored 23 points for Milwaukee, but the Bucks failed to extend their own winning streak after beating lowly Washington and Cleveland.
``It was an ugly basketball game for most of the night and they outplayed us,' said Andrew Bogut, who finished with 14 points. ``Gasol, he killed me tonight and he had a lot of easy baskets and post moves. Their bigs really played well.'
The Grizzlies seem their best when they keep attacking the paint. After a season-high 72 points in the paint against the Rockets, they had 56 against the short-handed Bucks.
``That's our game,' Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. ``We lead the league in points in the paint. We led the league last year in points in the paint. That is who we are. We try to find ways to attack the paint.'
Corey Maggette and rookie Larry Sanders had 12 apiece, but the lowest-scoring, worst-shooting team in the NBA failed to reach its already ugly benchmarks of 42.3 percent shooting or 91.5 points per game.
``We had so many good looks again. We had our chances to create some momentum for ourselves, and we unfortunately just couldn't knock them down,' Bucks coach Scott Skiles said.
Milwaukee used a 9-0 run to cut the Grizzlies' 18-point lead in half, and Maggette and Boykins hit consecutive jumpers to make it 76-71 with 7:53 left. After Maggette's layup cut it to 81-77 with 3:10 remaining, the Bucks never got closer.
Mike Conley hit a 3-pointer, Boykins missed a jumper and O.J. Mayo added another 3 from the corner that gave Memphis an 87-77 lead with 1:23 left. Memphis finished shooting 51 percent compared to Milwaukee's 37.8 percent.
Darrell Arthur scored all of his 14 points in the second half, and Rudy Gay and Mayo each added 11 as the Grizzlies took control at the start of third quarter with an 11-2 run.
Gasol, Sam Young and Conley all got easy layups and Gasol made a nice bounce pass to Randolph for another easy bucket that put the Grizzlies ahead 54-42, while Milwaukee had just one field goal over a 4-minute stretch.
Arthur's putback and Mayo's breakaway dunk made it 72-54 late in the third quarter.
The Bucks were already missing much of their scoring punch without starters Brandon Jennings (left foot), John Salmons (right hip) and Drew Gooden (left foot). Jennings hopes he can return in the coming days.
Still, it appeared it would be a tough night for the Grizzlies early.
Gasol whacked Randolph across the face with his right elbow late in the first quarter that left Randolph sprawled out in pain. But he returned a few minutes later to continue his record run, topping Shareef Abdur-Rahim's streak of nine double-doubles set in Vancouver in 1999.
``I said, 'Oops,'' Gasol said of his wild elbow. ``I thought I was fouled, so I just flung my arms. He's a tough guy. He's OK.'
Notes: Bogut's 'NBA Dream Package' ended up fetching $38,200 for the Premier's Disaster Relief Fund in Australia following the recent floods. The package includes round trip airfare, sightseeing and game tickets in both Los Angeles and Milwaukee over a week. ... Gay was loudly booed when shooting free throws in the third quarter because the big screen was showing a Chicago Bears' logo before Sunday's NFC Championship game with the Packers.
The Associated Press News Service
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