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Memphis breaks it open in the third quarter

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Shane Battier isn't the kind of player who
thinks about taking control of a game. He just plays hard and hopes
things happen.

"I'm not good enough to say: 'I'm going to take over the game.'
There are few guys who are," the Memphis Grizzlies forward said.
"But most basketball players start making a few jumpers and a
couple of moves, and you start feeling good confidence-wise. You
play a lot looser and the game just comes a lot more natural to
you."

Battier took that approach Tuesday night as he and Pau Gasol
each scored 20 points and sparked a third-quarter rally to lead the
Grizzlies to a 94-69 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.

Battier scored 13 points in the third quarter as Memphis built
its lead to 68-51. Battier outscored the Sonics by himself until
the final minute of the period. Meanwhile, Gasol had 10 in the
quarter which Memphis closed with a 10-2 run.

"We moved the ball well, and we were making the right plays on
offense and also playing pretty good defense," Gasol said of the
rally. "The best thing is that we kept Seattle, one of the best
and top offensive teams in the league, under 70 points. That's
pretty impressive."

The win was the third straight for Memphis, and gave the
Grizzlies (3-1) their second-best start in franchise history. They
were 4-1 to open the 2000-01 season. It also snapped a six-game
losing streak to the Sonics, who had won five straight in Memphis.

Mike Miller added 14 points for the Grizzlies and Eddie Jones
had 10.

Ray Allen led the Sonics (1-2) with 15 points, less than half of
his 31.5 average through Seattle's first two games. Rashard Lewis
had 13 points, all in the first half, and 10 rebounds. He missed
all four of his shots after the break, and he and Allen were on the
bench for good with about seven minutes left. In the second half,
Seattle starters accounted for only nine points.

Seattle, which got no closer than 17 points in the final
quarter, shot 33 percent overall and had 21 turnovers.

"Well, you saw the game, we stunk," Seattle coach Bob Weiss
said. "Twenty-three-of-70 shooting. Twenty-one turnovers again. We
were trying to force things, and it's been a trend with us."

Weiss said his team was not getting enough help for Lewis and
Allen, and he acknowledged the game got away from the Sonics after
halftime. Allen agreed, saying Seattle seemed to abandon the team
concept.

"We just started getting too individual," Allen said. "We're
playing individual basketball and not helping each other score. On
the other end (the Grizzlies) were doing that."

As they have in their earlier wins, the Grizzlies relied on
3-point shooting by Miller and Bobby Jackson off the bench to kick
start the offense, building a nine-point lead in the first half.
Miller's 10 points led the Grizzlies, and that helped because
leading scorer Gasol was struggling from the field, missing his
first five shots. Gasol had eight points in the half.

Allen was 4-for-10 in the first half for 10 points.

For the game, Memphis was 8-of-17 (47 percent) outside the arc,
the third straight game the Grizzlies have shot at least 47 percent
from long range.

Game notes
Battier moved into fourth place on the Grizzlies' all-time
scoring list, passing guard Jason Williams, now with Miami.
Battier's 20 points gave him 3,395 for his five-year career, all in
Memphis. His steal in the third period moved him to the top spot in
Memphis history in that category with 417, passing Shareef
Abdur-Rahim. ... The game was Seattle's first on the road this
season and kicked off the Sonics' longest trip of the year with six
games in 11 days. ... Sonics rookie C Johan Petro was limited to
nine minutes because of foul trouble. He picked up three in the
first two minutes. ... The 25-point victory was the largest over
Seattle in Grizzlies' history.