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Grizzlies win third straight behind 32 points by Gasol

3/9/2003

TORONTO (AP) -- A big game from Pau Gasol gave the Memphis
Grizzlies another win.

Gasol tied a career-high with 32 points, and Stromile Swift had
23 points and 13 rebounds as the Grizzlies won their third
straight, 119-106 over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night.

"We got a monster game from Swift and Gasol who were 24-for-34
between them,'' Memphis coach Hubie Brown said. "Our inside play
from the two big guys was oustanding.''

Jason Williams added 17 points and 12 assists for Grizzlies, who
won consecutive road games for the first time since Jan. 10-12,
2001. The Grizzlies have been playing well since the All-Star break.

"We are 8-6 since the break,'' Memphis coach Hubie Brown said.
"We've been great since the break.''

Toronto's Vince Carter, who had a season-high 43 points in
Saturday's victory over Atlanta, went 10-for-24 from the field for
26 points. Carter appeared to be favoring his right knee, which has kept him out of 23 games this season.

"We knew they were tired and Vince was hurting so we tried to
go at him and run him up and down the court,'' Swift said.

Memphis led by only two early in the fourth before going on an
11-0 run. After Mike Miller made a jumper, Mike Batiste saved a
ball from going and out of bounds and passed to Shane Battier, who
made a layup.

Battier followed with a three-point play, Earl Watson made a
jumper and Swift made a hook shot, giving Memphis a 97-84 lead with 8:07 left.

Memphis has won three straight for the first time since winning
four consecutive Dec. 8-13, 2002.

Gasol said the team is proud of its record since the break.

"We've beat New Jersey and Indiana at home. We're doing a good
job. We're proud of ourselves. We just have to keep going,'' Gasol
said.

Gasol, who scored 32 points for the third time this season, shot
14-for-19 from the field. Swift went 10-for-15 for the Grizzlies,
who shot 56.5 percent.

Toronto's Antonio Davis, guarded by Gasol, went 5-for-13 from the field.

Morris Peterson added 20 points for the Raptors.

"Our defense wasn't at its best,'' Toronto's Jerome Williams
said. "We were just totally out of sync.''

Williams' 3-pointer, Swift's jumper and Gasol's alley-oop dunk
gave Memphis a 13-point lead with 4:06 left in the third quarter.

Toronto responded with a 11-2 run to cut the lead to four as
Carter had six points and Peterson had five.

After the Grizzlies' big fourth-quarter run, Toronto tried to
come back. Toronto's Voshon Lenard made a 3-pointer and a jumper,
but Brevin Knight made a jumper for Memphis and Gasol made a jumper
and a tip-in, giving Memphis a 14-point lead -- their biggest of the
game -- with 5:48 remaining.

"I just shot very well,'' Gasol said. "I had a great
percentage. I made a lot of outside shots which I don't usually
try. I'm happy because that gives me a lot of confidence for the
next game and the rest of the season.''

Miller's 3-pointer made it 108-95 with 4:09 left, and Williams'
off-balance jumper gave Memphis a 14-point lead with 2:08 left.

The Grizzlies shot 58 percent from the field and led 55-48 at
halftime. Gasol had 14 points and Swift had 10.

Game notes
Memphis center Lorenzen Wright has missed five games since
his infant daughter died on March 1. ... Memphis outrebounded
Toronto 43-33. ... The Grizzlies outscored the Raptors 54-38 in the
paint. ... The Grizzlies came one point shy of matching the largest
margin of victory in their eight-year history in Saturday's 115-89
rout of Cleveland.