Toronto, Ont. - The Memphis Grizzlies (35-18) won their fifth game in a row with a tough grind house 88-82 win over the Toronto Raptors (22-33). The win was their first time facing former teammate Rudy Gay since he was traded to Toronto three weeks ago. Memphis was paced by Zach Randolph’s 17 points and 17 rebounds. Mike Conley added 16 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Tony Allen chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds.
The first half was a measure of futility and defense, as the Grizzlies led the Raptors 43-32, while the teams were shooting .349 and .257 percent, respectively. The third continued much along the same lines with Memphis extending its lead to a game-high 13 points in the quarter for a 66-57 lead. However, the Raptors went on a 17-7 run in the fourth quarter to tie the game 77-77, behind Alan Anderson’s 14 points, shooting 4-for-4 from beyond the arc during that stretch.
Memphis Grizzlies-Toronto Raptors-Ron Turenne/NBAE/Getty Images
The Air Canada Centre had a distinct playoff feel, but the Grizzlies took the air out of Toronto’s sails with Conley’s 3-point basket with 1:57 left, making it 83-77. Anderson’s 19 points off the bench was a game high, while Amir Johnson added 16 points. Gay scored 13 points and nine rebounds and Kyle Lowry chipped in 12. With both teams coming off back-to-back games, it wasn’t pretty, while the Raptors’ defense is improved; this is the type of game the Grizzlies are built for.
Zach Rondolph talked about meeting up with his old team-mate:
“It’s an emotional game, he wanted to come out, and wanted to play good, wanted to win. But so do we, we want to find our identity and keep on pushing and getting better.”
Second-chance points went in favor of the victor. The Grizzlies didn’t quit on possessions and outworking the Raptors 20-9 in that regard was the difference and helped them maintain momentum.
Despite the Grizzlies holding a commanding lead for much of the game, it wasn’t until less than two minutes left when the game was decided. Conley ‘s 3-point shot with 1:57 left put Memphis up 83-77 and closed the door on any Raptors comeback, after they rallied to tie the game at 77.
Ray Allen said “It’s our bread and butter, we’re a grinding team and I think we hang our hats on the defensive end. Whenever we do that we’re effective.”
The first quarter for both teams was an offensive struggle. The Raptors shot 4-for-20 from the field, (.200 percent), while the Grizzlies went 7-for-23 (.304 percent) for a 19-14 score for the quarter.
Next up for Memphis will be the New York Knicks on Friday night.
SectionsAnnouncements, Basketball (Men), Featured Story, NBA, Sports
TopicsAlan Anderson, Amir Johnson, Grizzlies, Kyle Lowry, Memphhis TN, Memphis Grizzlies, Mike Conley, New York Knicks, Raptors, Ray Allen, Rudy Gay, The Air Canada Centre, Tony Allen, Toronto Raptors, Zach Randolph