THE FACTS: The Memphis Grizzlies (35-18) won their fifth game in a row with a tough grind house 88-82 win over the Toronto Raptors (22-33). The win was their first time facing former teammate Rudy Gay since he was traded to Toronto three weeks ago. Memphis was paced by Zach Randolph's 17 points and 17 rebounds. Mike Conley added 16 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Tony Allen chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds.
The first half was a measure of futility and defense, as the Grizzlies led the Raptors 43-32, while the teams were shooting .349 and .257 percent, respectively. The third continued much along the same lines with Memphis extending its lead to a game-high 13 points in the quarter for a 66-57 lead. However, the Raptors went on a 17-7 run in the fourth quarter to tie the game 77-77, behind Alan Anderson's 14 points, shooting 4-for-4 from beyond the arc during that stretch.
The Air Canada Centre had a distinct playoff feel, but the Grizzlies took the air out of Toronto's sails with Conley's 3-point basket with 1:57 left, making it 83-77. Anderson's 19 points off the bench was a game high, while Amir Johnson added 16 points. Gay scored 13 points and nine rebounds and Kyle Lowry chipped in 12. With both teams coming off back-to-back games, it wasn't pretty, while the Raptors' defense is improved; this is the type of game the Grizzlies are built for.
QUOTABLE: "It's an emotional game, he wanted to come out, and wanted to play good, wanted to win. But so do we, we want to find our identity and keep on pushing and getting better."
-- Grizzlies forward Randolph on Gay facing his old team.
THE STAT: Second-chance points went in favor of the victor. The Grizzlies didn't quit on possessions and outworking the Raptors 20-9 in that regard was the difference and helped them maintain momentum.
TURNING POINT: Despite the Grizzlies holding a commanding lead for much of the game, it wasn't until less than two minutes left when the game was decided. Conley 's 3-point shot with 1:57 left put Memphis up 83-77 and closed the door on any Raptors comeback, after they rallied to tie the game at 77.
QUOTABLE II: "It's our bread and butter, we're a grinding team and I think we hang our hats on the defensive end. Whenever we do that we're effective."
-- Grizzlies guard Allen on his and his team's defensive play.
HOT: Anderson scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to key a 17-7 run, to tie the game at 77-77 in the fourth, including shooting 4-for-4 from the 3-point line. He single-handedly got his team back in the game.
NOT: The first quarter for both teams was an offensive struggle. The Raptors shot 4-for-20 from the field, (.200 percent), while the Grizzlies went 7-for-23 (.304 percent) for a 19-14 score for the quarter.
BAD MOVE: Shortly after Gay arrived in Toronto he professed that DeMar DeRozan was the best shooting guard he ever played with. Allen took offense and used that to motivate him, shutting down DeRozan to just 1-for-9 shooting and seven points in the game.
NEXT: For the Raptors; Friday vs. New York, Monday vs. Washington, Wednesday @ Cleveland. For the Grizzlies; Friday vs. Orlando, Sunday @ Brooklyn, Wednesday vs. Dallas.