Hakim Warrick scored 15 points, including six straight in a key stretch late in the fourth quarter, and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies to a 108-104 victory over the Hornets on Tuesday night.
"It's disappointing, but I'm getting to the point where I'm not surprised when we don't come out and play hard," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "I look at Phoenix and Dallas and those teams playing, and I don't see them taking a night off, and they're better.
"But our guys, for whatever reason, every three or four games, we're going to take a night off."
Mike Miller scored 22 points to lead Memphis, which came in 0-13 against Southwest foes. Chucky Atkins added 19, Rudy Gay had 18 and Junior Harrington and Pau Gasol 11 each. Gasol also had 15 rebounds.
"Getting this one right here is so big for us. This gets us in the right direction," Gay said.
Tyson Chandler matched his career high with 17 points and had a franchise record-tying 23 rebounds for New Orleans, which snapped its three-game winning streak. Desmond Mason scored 23 points and David West had 22 to lead the Hornets. Jannero Pargo added 11.
Hornets leading scorer Chris Paul, averaging 18.2 points, finished with five on 0-for-7 shooting, but had 10 assists.
"I was just missing shots," Paul said. "That's how it is sometimes. You just miss."
Memphis used a 7-0 run just after the midpoint of the fourth quarter to overtake New Orleans. Gay's steal and breakaway dunk capped the spurt, giving Memphis a 94-91 lead with 3:28 left.
Chandler's baseline dunk tied the score at 97 with 2:14 left.
Warrick then scored the next six points on a pair of free throws and two dunks to give Memphis the lead for good.
"I've been saying the whole year that once our young guys catch on and once they start improving, showing strides of improvement, that our season is going to turn," Atkins said. "Our team is based on our young guys. We rely on them a lot more than probably any team in the league."
As has been the case most of the year, the Hornets dominated inside -- outscoring the Grizzlies 50-32 in the paint and outrebounded them 58-49. New Orleans also had a 28-16 advantage on second-chance points.
However, Memphis pulled it out with a rally in the fourth quarter.
Scott blamed the fourth-quarter implosion on everything from immaturity to a lack of intensity and possibly overlooking the Grizzlies, who have one of the worst records in the league. He said when the team came to the locker room after the game, Chandler asked his teammates when they were going to grow up.
"I think that has some merit," Scott said of his team possibly overlooking Memphis. "I don't know why. We don't have the best record in the league. We have a losing record as well. So I don't know why we would look down on another team with a losing record."
Bobby Jackson's 3-pointer with under a second left in second quarter tied the score at 52 going into halftime.
Mason and West led the Hornets with 11 points each at the break, while Miller had 15 for the Grizzlies despite shooting 4-of-12 from the field.
Both teams shot under 40 percent shooting in the first half.
- Before the game, Memphis announced that it had traded reserve C Jake Tsakalidis to the Houston Rockets for F Scott Padgett. Despite the trade, Tsakalidis was in street clothes on the Grizzlies' bench.
- Mason made his 52nd start of the season, the only Hornet to start every game.
- Memphis starting G Damon Stoudamire sat out the game with flu-like symptoms. That gave more playing time to Harrington, who is under a 10-day contract with Memphis. Harrington played 17 minutes.
- Paul missed his first free throw of the game, snapping a streak of 14 straight over the past three games.
- Chandler had 10 rebounds in the first eight minutes en route to his 17th double-double.