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
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.
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