MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Memphis coach Mike Fratello got his 600th
career victory with a lot of help from Shane Battier.
Battier, in his fourth season out of Duke, scored a career-high
33 points to help the Grizzlies rally to beat the Toronto Raptors
86-75 on Friday night.
Battier, who was 10-of-17 from the field, had 12 points in the
final period, including nine straight in one stretch, to erase a
Toronto lead and make Fratello the 19th coach to reach the
Memphis has won three straight to improve to 33-25.
"To be completely honest, the only thing I was worried about
was getting win No. 33," Fratello said. "All of that other stuff
Toronto, which dropped its second in a row, scored only eight
points in the fourth period, its lowest for a quarter this season.
It also matched a Grizzlies' franchise mark for lowest points
allowed in the fourth.
"We just stopped passing the ball," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell
said. "We didn't move the ball around. ... And then when we did
get some open looks, we didn't make shots."
At one point, the Raptors went more than 6 minutes without
scoring. The frustration got so bad at the end that Jalen Rose, who
led the Raptors with 19 points, was tossed for a flagrant foul with
26.6 seconds remaining then threw his jersey in the crowd as he
left the floor.
"We picked up our defensive intensity, trying to make
everything hard for them" said Memphis center Lorenzen Wright, who
had a season-high 20 points and 15 rebounds. "We knew it was do or
die. We didn't want to lose this game, especially going on this
long (four-game) road trip we're getting ready to go on."
Memphis continued to play short-handed. Besides leading scorer
Pau Gasol, who has missed 16 games with a foot injury, Memphis was
without Stromile Swift (ankle sprain) and Bonzi Wells (herniated
disc), who was placed on the injured list Friday.
That effectively left the Grizzlies with a seven-man rotation.
"We weren't overconfident, but we felt we could have and should
have won the game," Rose said. "They took it to us."
Mitchell talked about his team lacking mental toughness, maybe
the worst display of the year, he said. Alston said it was about
playing smarter on offense.
"We had a couple of offensive fouls where the defender was down
there since yesterday, and we still ran into him," Alston said.
Memphis struggled from the floor early, but benefited from the
Raptors' uncharacteristically mishandling the ball. Toronto, second
in the league for the fewest turnovers per game with 13.4, had
seven in the first quarter, leading to 10 Memphis points. That
contributed to an early 21-3 run.
The Raptors finished with 17 turnovers, but Memphis managed to
mishandle it 18 times.
While Wright carried Memphis early, the offense went through
Battier down the stretch. After the nine straight points, Battier
punctuated the night with a 3-pointer from the corner while falling
out of bounds and the shot clock winding down.
"Personally, I've been making shots," said Battier, who had 25
earlier this week against Golden State. "For a couple of weeks
there, it was pretty bad.
"I don't know how I made a couple of those shots, but I'll take
The Grizzlies activated rookie Andre Emmett to take Wells'
roster spot. ... Toronto also made a roster move, activating F Pape
Sow and placing Eric Williams on the injured list with a sprained
left calf. ... Rose realizes the flagrant foul not only earned him
an early exit, but will probably cost him some money. "They're
going to be reaching in Jalen Rose's pocket," he said. "I've got
to get ready for that." ... Alston had a four-point play in the