Memphis Grizzlies hang tough down the stretch to edge out Toronto Raptors - NBA Recap
Memphis Grizzlies’ trip to Toronto ended up in their favour as they grabbed their 7th win in 8 games after beating Toronto Raptors, 102-99 on Friday night.
Memphis had 5 players in double figures, led by a game high 23 points and 12 boards from Rudy Gay. Centre Marc Gasol tallied 21 along with the guard Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo chipped in with 16 points and Dante Cunningham recorded
11 points as the Grizzlies banked their 3 straight win.
The Raptors had a better shooting rate as compared to the visitors, scoring 52.8% from the floor and 85.0% from the charity stripe in contrast to 46.9% and 68.8% by Memphis, but committed seven more turnovers, leading to 24 Grizzlies
points as the Raps lost yet another close game.
Jerryd Bayless scored a team high 18 points coming off the bench and forward James Johnson netted 14. Reserve Leandro Barbosa had 13 and Linas Kleiza scored 12 points. Amir Johnson and Jose Calderon scored 10 apiece.
In what was a thriller, the matter went right down to the wire.
A layup from Johnson initiated a 13-4 run for Raptors, but they couldn’t hold on to the lead for long as Memphis trimmed that down to 17-14 after reeling off a 10-4 run deep through the frame, which they ended with a 23-21 lead.
Toronto shifted places with the visitors after pulling off an 18-7 spurt early in the 2nd stanza and claimed a 39-30 lead and managed to conclude the segment at 52-45. Memphis came back strongly after the halftime. They
started the period on a 11-0 run to take a 56-52 advantage, but were shown some resistance after that and with 2:13 to go, the Raptors again managed to take a slender, 71-70 lead.
With a flurry of free throws Memphis struck back for a 75-71 advantage and closed the frame with a narrow 77-75 margin.
As the game entered into its last 12 minutes, the Raptors blasted their way to an 11-2 spurt that resulted into 86-79 advantage early. Memphis inched back with 6 unanswered points to close the within 86-85.
This was where Kleiza took over for the Raps. The sharp-shooter erupted for the next seven Toronto points to carve out a 93-87 lead and 6:17 left on the clock. Memphis however bounced back with 8 unanswered points and claimed a
slender 95-93 lead. Shortly afterwards, the pendulum swung again and the resilient Raptors regained a 98-97 lead on a Calderon layup.
Cunningham netted one from the charity stripe for Memphis and tied the scores at 98 apiece, but a freebie from Aaron Gray, the Raptors raced back into the lead at 99-98.
What followed was a 19 foot jumper from Gray and the Grizzlies took a 100-99 advantage with only 26.9 clicks left in the game.
Gasol later commented on Gay’s show stealer.
“They put the three on me so Rudy just came back to the same side and Aaron was on him. So I had to give him the ball and it was a like free throw shot for him."
In the ensuing passage, Kleiza missed a jumper and that resulted in an Allen hoop and harm to make it 102-99. Allen missed the free throw, giving the Raptors one final shot to tie the game. Calderon’s shot however hit the back
of rim and the time expired.