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 Gay leads Grizzlies to 109-97 win over Rockets

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Join date : 2008-11-21

PostSubject: Gay leads Grizzlies to 109-97 win over Rockets   Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:43 pm

MEMPHIS, Tenn.(AP) O.J. Mayo and the Memphis Grizzlies used a quick start to put away the injury-depleted Houston Rockets.Rudy
Gay scored 20 points, Mayo and Hakim Warrick had 18 points apiece, and
The Grizzlies scored the first 10 points Monday night in a 109-97 win
over the Rockets, who were without two of their top three scorers as
Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest sat out with injuries."We felt like we had to take care of this since they had two terrific players out,'' Mayo said.Memphis
started fast then held off a second-half rally that almost erased a
22-point advantage for its second straight home victory."We knew
coming in this was a danger game,'' Rockets forward Shane Battier said.
"They were desperate for a win. Young teams play better at home. We had
such a horrible first quarter, that it was too much to overcome.''Memphis
made its first six 3-pointers to build an early lead and shot 51
percent overall. Gay, who did not start after arriving late for the
shootaround, made eight of 14 shots and Mayo was 7-of-13."I was just five minutes late,'' Gay said. "I was in there for most of the tapes. It was just one of those days.''Kyle
Lowry had 11 points and five assists, while Mike Conley and Marc Gasol
each had 10 points. Gasol and Warrick had eight rebounds apiece for
Memphis.Luis Scola had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Rafer
Alston had 16 points and eight assists for the Rockets. Von Wafer added
15 points, and Yao Ming and Aaron Brooks finished with 14 apiece. Carl
Landry had 12 points.Memphis lost most of its 22-point lead in
the third quarter but rebuilt the advantage to 15 in the early minutes
of the fourth period as Greg Buckner scored eight points."They
were the aggressors all the way,'' Rockets coach Rick Adelman said.
"They got the rebounds and got to the basket. They just outworked us.
They came out much more aggressive to start the game.''Artest
sat out the game with a sore right foot after starting the Rockets'
first 20 games. McGrady was not dressed because of lingering problems
with a sore left knee, and Brent Barry was sidelined with a right leg
injury. The Rockets had only 10 players in uniform, including Steve
Francis, who hasn't played all year.That contributed to Memphis' reserves outscoring the Rockets' bench 58-28, partially because of Gay's tardiness."(That)
was a little deceiving. Rudy came off the bench and gave us 20
points,'' Buckner. "If he had not come off the bench, we probably
wouldn't have outscored them. (The Rockets) were down a little bit.
They were missing two of their best players. We came out and took
advantage of it.''The Grizzlies again tweaked their starting
lineup, reinserting Gasol with Darko Milicic on the front line in hopes
of containing the Rockets Scola and Yao. It didn't last long as Milicic
picked up two fouls before two minutes were gone in the game.But
Memphis was able to limit Yao to eight shots from the field as the
Grizzlies big men pushed on the Rockets leading scorer for position in
physical post play. Gasol was among the defenders and got three blocks
and three steals on the night. Memphis forced 17 turnovers, leading to
23 points."When they take Yao away, we have to be ready for
that,'' Alston said. "We have practiced that, but when we get out there
we seem to get brain-locked. We need to be in attack mode.''Quinton Ross started in Gay's spot and made the first basket of the game, a 3-pointer.Memphis
built the 10-0 lead as the Rockets missed their first six shots.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies shot 61 percent in the period, including all
five 3-pointers. The Grizzlies led by as many as 15 points in the first.Memphis
led by as many as 22, one short of its largest lead of the season. The
Rockets, however, would close the half with a 21-8 rally to trail 56-47.Houston shot 8-for-10 to open the second half and pulled within a basket midway through the third.But
Memphis was able to create a bit of room and carried an 83-75 lead into
the final period, then extended it to double-digits early in the fourth."I
don't think we shared the ball very well,'' Adelman said. "Guys were
trying to do too much on their own and weren't moving the ball around.
I think it was the whole team. We just seemed to be out of sync.''Notes:
The firing of Minnesota Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman raised
questions about Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni's future. Iavaroni said
before Monday night's game that he was only focusing on the game
against the Rockets and not concerned about his job security. ...
Wafer, the fourth-year guard from Florida State, started in place of
Artest, his first start of the season. The Grizzlies largest lead of
the season was 23 on Nov. 18 vs. Sacramento. Scola recorded his fifth
double-double of the season. Yao was 6-of-8 from the free throw line,
and is 35-of-40 in the last three games. Mayo has scored in double
figures in all 21 games of his rookie season. The last rookie to have
that kind of start was Magic Johnson, who had 21 double-digit
performances to open his career with the Lakers in the 1979-80 season.

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