SEATTLE (AP) -- Tired and short-handed, the Memphis Grizzlies
picked up their most resilient victory of the season.
Dahntay Jones made a one-handed 14-footer with 6.6 seconds left,
and the Grizzlies held off a late Seattle rally for a 100-96 win
over the SuperSonics on Saturday night.
Jones scored after Bobby Jackson appeared to travel. Jackson
drove the lane and missed an underhanded layup badly. He grabbed
the ball out of the air and passed to Jones, who leaned in and hit
the shot to put Memphis ahead 98-94.
Officials said Jackson's shot had been partially blocked, but on
television replays, the shot appeared to be untouched. Afterward,
Seattle's Rashard Lewis said he got a finger on Jackson's shot.
Lewis made two free throws with 3.3 left, but Jackson made a
pair with 2.9 left for the final margin.
"I thought I guys really showed a lot of character tonight,"
Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. "It was a game of segments. A
different person stepped up in a different segment."
The Grizzlies came in after costly victory over Portland on
Friday, where they lost Damon Stoudamire and Mike Miller to
injuries. Stoudamire tore a tendon in his right knee and Miller
sprained his left ankle.
Therefore, the Grizzlies took a different approach. With
Seattle's defense focusing on stopping Gasol's scoring, the
7-footer became an efficient passer, finishing with eight assists
to go along with his 22 points.
And Battier became a needed outside threat with Stoudamire and
Miller out. Battier made five 3-pointers, tying his career high,
and finished with 19 points.
"I did not want to go into the paint at all. After playing 45
minutes last night against Portland and banging against Zach
Randolph and Ruben Patterson I did not have the legs at all to go
inside the paint," Battier said. "It was 3 or broke tonight."
Ray Allen led Seattle with 28 points and Lewis added 19. Seattle
has lost six of its last eight at home and closed out December 4-6
on its home floor.
"It's just very disappointing. We needed to win more of those
game," Seattle coach Bob Weiss said. "We've got to win on the
road. We've got to go get those games back."
Memphis led 96-90 with under a minute remaining. Allen made two
free throws, then Ronald Murray knocked the ball loose from Eddie
Jones, leading to a Murray dunk pulling Seattle to 96-94 with 31.8
After scoring with ease in the first half, Gasol was scoreless
for the first 9:33 of the third quarter and didn't attempt a shot.
He finally made a pair of free throws after being fouled on an
Gasol scored seconds later on a layup, and Shane Battier drained
a 3-pointer as the quarter ended to give the Grizzlies a 75-68
Dahntay Jones scored to open the fourth, extending the run to
9-0. Allen finally broke the string with a jumper in the lane,
Seattle's first points in four minutes.
Seattle eventually got to 79-75, but Memphis went on a 13-4 run
before Seattle made a final surge.
The short-handed Grizzlies finished their road trip 3-1.
Stoudamire was injured when he drove the lane in the second quarter
against Portland and felt the tendon pop as he planted his right
foot. Miller sprained his left ankle in the second quarter in
Burks started in place of Stoudamire.
"It really is a group that bands together and goes about each
game with a great bounce back ability," Fratello said.
Seattle guard Luke Ridnour returned after missing the last two
games. Ridnour had been suffering from nausea and lost eight pounds
in the last week. He initially suffered a chest contusion against
Dallas on Dec. 23, and played the first half against Boston on Dec.
26, but missed a two-game trip to Minnesota and Denver.
Weiss said all blood and structural tests came back negative.
Ridnour played five minutes and scored two points.
Fratello said that Stoudamire would be evaluated further
once the team returned to Memphis. Stoudamire was at Saturday's
game, wearing a large brace on his right leg. ... Seattle plays
seven of its next nine on the road. ... Memphis is now 5-3 on the
second night of a back-to-back.
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