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Gasol scores 17, grabs 10 boards

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Memphis Grizzlies showed they can get
physical if they have to.

Pau Gasol had 17 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high eight
blocked shots, and the Grizzlies handed the Phoenix Suns their
seventh straight loss, 97-92 Friday night.

"It's always tough inside," Gasol said. "It was a little
tougher because (the Suns) really play physical. They really go at
you, especially if they get away with things like grabbing and
pushing and all that stuff. They are going to keep doing it and
making it tougher."

James Posey had a team-high 18 points for the Grizzlies, who won
their third consecutive game and fifth in a row at home. Memphis
has 21 wins at home this season, a franchise record.

Memphis' Stromile Swift scored 17 points, and Jason Williams and
Bonzi Wells each had 11, but the two starting guards were a
combined 10-for-24 from the field.

Joe Johnson's 3-pointer with 14.4 seconds left cut Memphis' lead
to 95-92. But two free throws by Posey with 9.5 seconds left gave
Memphis the final margin.

"They upped their defense down the stretch and got us out of
our rhythm," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "They had the energy
and the discipline at the end."

Amare Stoudemire led the Suns with 23 points, but fouled out
with 4:28 remaining. Like others, he was upset by some calls,
especially the one that sent him to the bench.

"I was trying to move out of the way, and they still called
it" Stoudemire said. "I can't even get out of the way."

The Suns trailed 87-85 when Stoudemire left, and Memphis
promptly scored six unanswered points.

Shawn Marion had 21 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix. Johnson
finished with 12 points, but hit only four of 15 shots from the
field and was 1-of-6 from outside the arc.

The Grizzlies led 56-44 with 1:42 left in the second quarter,
but Marion scored seven straight points to cut Memphis' lead to
56-51 at intermission. Marion led the Suns with 13 in the half,
while Stoudemire had 11, despite getting in foul trouble.

Swift had 11 in the half for Memphis.

One key to the game for Memphis was jumping to an early lead and
holding a 36-26 advantage at the end of the first.

"We have a habit of starting late," D'Antoni said. "It was
the first quarter that spelled the doom. We have to learn to start
tougher, but we don't do that."

The Suns, took their first lead of the game in the third quarter
and the teams were tied at 77 entering the fourth. Memphis held
Phoenix to 15 points on 30 percent shooting and caused eight
turnovers in the final period.

"We couldn't let them come in here and take one from us,"
Posey said.

Game notes
The Grizzlies put G Mike Miller on the injured list earlier
in the day because of the back spasms that have nagged him for
weeks. G Troy Bell was activated. ... Wells started in Miller's
place. ... With Miller out, the Grizzlies made only two 3-pointers,
matching their season low for a game. ... Suns F Keon Clark, one of
the players picked up in Thursday's trade with the Jazz for Tom
Gugliotta, was not with the team yet. The other player, Ben
Handlogten, was waived by the Suns Friday. ... The Grizzlies 36
first-quarter points was two short of their season record for
points in a quarter. ... Swift has scored in double figures in four
of his last five games. ... Antonio McDyess saw his first action
since being put on the injured list Jan. 19 from left knee
tendinitis. He played 10 minutes, did not score and grabbed four
rebounds. ... Gasol's previous career-high for blocks was seven
against the Suns last season.

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