8:00 PM ET, February 7, 2009
FedExForum, Memphis, TN
Mayo scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth period, including nine straight, and the Grizzlies held on to defeat the Toronto Raptors 78-70 on Saturday night.
Mayo's 3-pointer with 25.7 seconds left was costly for the Raptors, who had erased a 13-point lead in the second half and lost their sixth straight. Mayo had struggled from the field through the first three quarters, missing nine of his 11 shots. He saved the best for the stretch.
"Big-time players, no matter what kind of game they have, seem to rise to the occasion," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "He rose to the occasion in the last few minutes of that game."
Mayo's nine-point run came shortly after the Raptors took their first lead of the second half. It started with a free throw after the Raptors were whistled for a defensive 3-second violation. Mayo hit that free throw, converted a pair of short shots, and added a free throw after the second. His 3-pointer closed the rally.
"I was just trying to get something at the rim or whatever," Mayo said of his mind-set at that point. "After I hit the free throw, it got me going a little bit.
"I hadn't seen a ball go in my last 10 attempts. Once I saw I could still make a free throw, it gave me a little bit of fire."
Memphis has won three of four.
The primary problem for Toronto was shooting a season-low 29.5 percent from the field, and missing its first 13 shots outside the arc. The 70 points also was a season-low for the Raptors.
"We were wide open for shots," said Raptors guard Jose Calderon, who led Toronto with 18 points and five assists, but was 5-of-15 from the field. "Sometimes it goes in, sometimes not. It's got to be our worst game for sure."
Both teams were short-handed, Memphis was missing second-leading scorer Rudy Gay with a hip flexor, while the Raptors' leading scorer and rebounder Chris Bosh missed his second game with a sprained right knee.
"He leads the team in scoring and rebounding, and we really need him back," reserve Jamario Moon said of the injured Bosh. "I can't wait for him to get back."
Memphis built the lead to 13 early in the second half by outscoring Toronto 7-2 to open the third period.
Toronto finally got untracked with 11 unanswered points spanning the third and fourth quarters to overtake Memphis. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Kapono gave Toronto the lead.
From there, Mayo took over, scoring nine straight points to erase the Toronto advantage, and Memphis never trailed again. Hollins said the last 3-pointer during Mayo's individual scoring streak was the key.
"That was a big-time shot," Hollins said. "A big-time dagger for a guy that had shot a couple of airballs."
As they did in Friday night's loss to the Clippers, Memphis dealt with early foul troubles on the front line. Marc Gasol had three fouls before the midway point of the second quarter, and Darko Milicic picked up two fouls in a minute.
The Raptors' problems continually revolved around shooting. Toronto never got over 30 percent in the first half, including missing all 10 of its 3-point tries in the first half, a slump that would eventually extend to 13. The Raptors went to the locker room at 25 percent from the field and trailing 43-35, Memphis' largest lead of the first half.
"We couldn't find one guy, even at halftime, that could get on a roll or make shots," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "It was just one of those nights. We became contagious and everyone was missing."
Toronto's shooting woes continued into the second half. The Raptors missed five of their first six shots in the half, and Memphis used the slump to extend the lead to 13.
The Raptors weren't the only ones having problems. Memphis was about 40 percent in the third, but the Grizzlies guards -- Mayo and Conley -- were a combined 5-of-20. They would end the night 11-of-34.
Calderon made a 3-pointer with 2:47 left in the third, Toronto's first basket from outside the arc after missing 13.
Toronto would chip away at the lead, cutting the deficit to 60-55 through three periods.
But once Mayo went on his run, the Raptors couldn't muster another rally.
"We made a couple of shots in the third quarter, but it was definitely too late," Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani said. "We have to start winning because we are playing very bad."
Raptors G Will Solomon was taken by the Grizzlies in the second round of the 2001 draft. That was his only season in the NBA before signing with the Raptors last summer. He has played overseas since his rookie season with stops in places like Greece, Istanbul, Israel and Turkey. Solomon did not play Saturday night. In addition to Gay, Lowry missed his third game due to a right ankle sprain, and F Darrell Arthur missed his second for family reasons. Jermaine O'Neal thought he was fouled when Hakim Warrick dunked over him in the second quarter. He was so emphatic about the disagreement that official Bennie Adams handed him a technical. A 19-footer by Memphis G Greg Buckner as the horn to end the third quarter sounded, initially was ruled good, but reversed after officials reviewed the replay.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||23-79 (.291)||30-78 (.385)|
|3PM-3PA||5-23 (.217)||5-17 (.294)|
|FTM-FTA||19-21 (.905)||13-17 (.765)|
|Fast Break Points||5||8|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (4/0)||21 (2/0)|