7:00 PM ET, January 8, 2002
7:00 PM ET, January 8, 2002
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Memphis Grizzlies are putting the emphasis on defense.
The Grizzlies held the Raptors to 41 percent shooting and outrebounded them 49-38 in beating Toronto 84-81 Tuesday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
"We always say that, but if we play defense and make them take tough shots, we are a good team," the Grizzlies' Tony Massenburg said. "If we hold them to one shot and pound the boards, we have a chance to beat anybody."
Stromile Swift scored Memphis' final six points and his dunk off Pau Gasol's miss gave the Grizzlies a three-point lead with 10 seconds left. Alvin Williams' 3-point attempt with a second left was short for Toronto.
Swift and Gasol both had 20 points and 10 rebounds. Massenburg added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"I try to look at an area of the game that they were better in," Toronto's Jerome Williams said. "They did a better job of rebounding. ... That was the key, because it gave them second shots. Whenever you are in an away gym, you can't allow the home team to get offensive rebounds, because then it's hard to win."
Vince Carter led the Raptors with 31 points on 14-of-28 shooting. Raptors reserve Dell Curry scored 14, including 10 in the first half, while Jerome Williams finished with 12.
"I think mentally we weren't there in the beginning of the game," Carter said. "We just didn't get the job done. It wasn't one of our best starts. ... We waited five or ten minutes or so into the game to get started. We just can't do that."
The Grizzlies never led by more than four points in the final 8 minutes, but they also never allowed Toronto to go ahead. Part of the reason was Shane Battier's defense. The rookie from Duke had two blocks and a steal in the fourth quarter.
"It's about making big plays, about making winning basketball plays," Battier said. "A couple of those blocks were timely, I guess. You put up a bunch of those and have people making winning plays, and you're going to pull out basketball games."
Toronto led 44-43 at halftime behind Carter's 18 points and Curry's 10.
Gasol, who had struggled recently, scored 14 in the half, while Swift added 12.
Memphis got its running game going in the third with Swift, Grant Long and Brevin Knight scoring on fast breaks to help Memphis to a 68-64 lead heading into the fourth. Then the Grizzlies held on down the stretch.
"We have beat some good teams," Massenburg said.
Toronto, he added, "is a good team. One of the best in the East. We beat them with no excuses. Vince was there. Everybody was there that normally is there when they are winning. It was just us making them take some tough shots."
The Raptors activated Hakeem Olajuwan before the game. Olajuwan had been on the injured list since Dec. 28 with an infected toe on his left foot. He finished with eight points. ... Memphis reserve PG Will Solomon missed his second straight game with an ankle injury. ... Massenburg's 10 points marked only his fifth game of the season in double digits, but the third time in his last eight games. ... It was Gasol's team-leading 12th double-double of the season. Swift has six, Massenburg two. ... The Raptors beat Memphis 91-88 in Toronto on Nov. 29. ... Toronto is 0-5 on Tuesdays. ... Memphis PG Jason Williams was fined by the team for calling it the worst in the NBA, Grizzlies spokesman Kirk Clayborn said Tuesday.
|FGM-FGA||35-85 (.412)||36-77 (.468)|
|3PM-3PA||2-9 (.222)||2-9 (.222)|
|FTM-FTA||9-12 (.750)||10-21 (.476)|
|Fast Break Points||6||17|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||23 (0/0)||16 (2/0)|