TORONTO, Nov. 29 (Ticker) --
Despite playing an undermanned team, the Toronto Raptors were fortunate to post their fourth straight victory against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Vince Carter scored 23 points and Antonio Davis collected 20 and 11 rebounds as the Raptors recorded their third three-game winning streak of the season with a 91-88 triumph over the Grizzlies.
Even though Stromile Swift was hobbled by a hyperextended left elbow and fellow forward Lorenzen Wright played 41 minutes despite being day-to-day with a sprained right wrist, the Grizzlies trailed only 89-86 with 8.9 seconds left.
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Hakeem Olajuwon hits the glass against the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies already had center Michael Dickerson
and rookie forward Antonis Fotsis
on the injured list, forcing coach Sidney Lowe to use a two-man bench.
But an out-of-bounds call that favored the visitors was reversed during a timeout. Raptors guard Alvin Williams was fouled, made both free throws and Toronto dropped Memphis to 0-7 on the road.
"We had some miscues at the end, but we also did things very well," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "I don't think we played very well and we were not that sharp. We had some time off, and you try to squeeze so much in. Maybe it was too much."
Toronto had not played since Sunday, when it handed Philadelphia its first loss with reigning NBA MVP Allen Iverson in the lineup.
The league's fifth-leading scorer at 26.5 points per game, Carter led the Raptors for the 14th time in 16 games this season. But all five Toronto starters finished in double figures.
"We just told ourselves that we had to take our time and said that this is a game that we have to win," Carter said. "Guys are shooting really well right now and making me look good."
"Vince is one of the best players in the league. I thought I did a pretty good job of making him work," Grizzlies rookie forward Shane Battier said. "We are learning, and half the battle is gaining some confidence."
The All-Star shooting guard has averaged 28.4 points in seven home games.
Memphis again was led by its rookie forwards. Pau Gasol had 22 points and Battier contributed 20, but the Grizzlies lost for the fourth time in their last five games.
"We knew we had a great challenge in front of us and we just wanted to play hard," Lowe said. "We played our hearts out and we were in the game. If we had a little more control in the fourth quarter when we had the lead and tried to ice things, we might have had a chance."
The Raptors scored 38 points in the third period, their most in any quarter this season, as they took a 78-65 cushion into the final 12 minutes.
Brevin Knight fed Battier for a pair of 3-pointers before making a layup with 5:01 left to put the Grizzlies ahead, 83-82.
"We've been playing better, but we missed some easy shots, which hurt us," Gasol said. "I missed some close shots. We played hard, but it's tough to be 2-12. We have to keep trying and learning."
Hakeem Olajuwon's basket with 4:12 to go sparked a 7-2 burst that gave the Raptors an 89-85 cushion.
Jason Williams converted 1-of-2 free throws with 34 seconds left to get the Grizzlies within three points, but they could not narrow the gap.
"It's a good thing that we hung in there and found a way to execute. It's a good sign that we can pull games out like this when we don't play particularly well," Davis said. "We have to find ways to be more aggressive and get to the basket, even if we have to force the issue."
Toronto's Jerome Williams collected six boards in 17 minutes off the bench to reach the 2,000-rebound plateau.