MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 15 (AP) --
Folks in Memphis aren't accustomed to the preseason protocol that states everything should be kept in perspective because the games really don't mean much.
With a crowd of 10,658 cheering like it was a playoff game Monday night, the Grizzlies rallied from a 25-point deficit and beat the Seattle SuperSonics 103-99.
"They waited 25 years to get a team here, so it's not going to be a regular preseason crowd," rookie Shane Battier
Battier went 5-for-5 from 3-point range and Jason Williams
made a 3-pointer from well behind the arc with nine seconds left as the Grizzlies (3-0) stayed unbeaten in the preseason.
Williams finished with 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute. Pau Gasol
scored 17, Battier 16 and Michael Dickerson
15. Brevin Knight
had 12 points, 11 assists and seven steals.
"We started playing some defense and getting the ball and pushing it," Grizzlies coach Sidney Lowe said. "The crowd got into the ballgame, and from that point our guys got excited about it and then Shane went on his display of shooting." Rashard Lewis
had 24 points for the Sonics, who didn't arrive in Memphis until 4:30 a.m. after playing Sunday night in Phoenix.
The Sonics seemed to be headed for an easy win as Brent Barry
hit a technical free throw midway through the third quarter for a 73-48 lead. But Battier closed the third quarter with a 3-pointer to pull the Grizzlies within 14, then hit two threes in the first 90 seconds of the fourth.
"He didn't get any shots in the first half. In the second half we actually started calling more plays for him," Lowe said. "Guys were looking for him because he had the hot hand."
The game stayed tight the rest of the way, with Williams breaking a 95-all tie on a 3-pointer with 51 seconds left. Shammond Williams made two free throws to make it 98-97, and the Grizzlies grabbed an offensive rebound with 33 seconds left to set up Jason Williams' 3-pointer that all but clinched it.