Atkins launched a 30-foot desperation shot at the end of the
first overtime period Monday night to tie the game at 115 and help
send the Grizzlies to a 134-126 double overtime victory over the
Rudy Gay scored 17 points, including six in the second overtime,
to put the game out of reach for the Grizzlies, relieved to finally
come out ahead in a close game after a string of tough losses.
While Gay's late scoring and Memphis connecting on 10-of-12 free
throws in the final 1:33 helped seal the first Grizzlies victory
since Dec. 6 at Boston, it was Atkins' jumper that had everyone
talking. Officials reviewed the shot before ruling it good.
"I felt like it was going in because, as a shooter, you know
when the ball feels good coming off your hand," said Atkins, who
was a meager 4-for-12 from the field at the end of regulation. "I
thought I shot it kind of long because I put a little more oomph on
it because I was a little far. I knew it had good rotation."
Rashard Lewis, who led Seattle with a season-high 36 points and
14 rebounds didn't have as much faith in the shot at the time as
"We didn't think that he would make the shot," Lewis said.
"He did. They had the luck of the ball bouncing their way.
"Honestly, when he took the shot, I was getting ready to walk
off the court because I knew he wasn't going to make it. He still
made it, and you have to go back out and play another five
"It was a crazy shot," Sonics guard Luke Ridnour added.
Mike Miller had 29 points, while Atkins finished with 28. Pau
Gasol scored 15 points in 21 minutes.
Lewis connected on 10 of 22 shots from the field and 12 of 13
free throws as Seattle lost its fifth straight, all on the road. It
marked the first time the Sonics have gone winless on a five-game
road trip since 1987.
"This is the third one like that," Ridnour said of the close
games on the trip. "This was the first one we've actually been up
in the last seconds. Other times, we were trying to make things
Lewis' rebound basket with 1.5 seconds remaining in regulation
tied the score at 99, sending the game into overtime after Miller's
last-second shot bounced off the rim.
But some of Seattle's drive seemed to disappear as Atkins shot
settled through the net, snatching the win away from the Sonics in
the first extra period.
"It just seemed like we were a little bit deflated," Ridnour
said. "We tried to fight through it, and keep going, but we just
came up short."
The Sonics were without leading scorer Ray Allen, who remains
sidelined with a right ankle injury. But Memphis started to show
signs of cohesiveness in its third game since the return of Gasol.
Gasol showed more aggressiveness from the start on offense,
pushing the ball to the basket against rookie Andreas Glyniadakis,
at one point beating him off the dribble from the foul line for a
dunk. It was a flash of the old Gasol that Memphis fans hadn't seen
at home since he returned to action Friday from a broken left foot.
He finished 6-of-8 from the field, and his 15 points was his most
productive of the three games since his return.
"Slowly, Pau is getting a little better each game," Memphis
coach Mike Fratello said.
But the limited minutes also meant the All-Star forward was not
available after the midway point of the fourth quarter, leaving him
as a spectator as the two teams fought through regulation and the
"Any win is big right now," Miller said of snapping the losing
streak. "It doesn't matter when it comes or who is against. It's a
big win for us."
Sonics C Johan Petro entered the game shooting 66 percent
(39-of-59) in his last 10 games. He was 3-of-6 against the
Grizzlies. ... Lewis had connected on 48 of his last 49 free throws
entering the game. His one miss Monday night came with 4.7 seconds
left in the first overtime, leaving the score 115-112 and setting
the stage for Atkins' tying 3-pointer. ...With the win, Memphis
avoided matching it longest losing streak of the season -- seven
games -- and snapped a four-game losing skid at home. ... It was
Lewis' sixth double-double of the season, while Ridnour recorded