Thursday, February 21, 2013

Road Recap: Grizzlies 88, Raptors 82 — Griz Fell Gay, Win a Scrapper

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Rudy Gay, in Toronto.
  • Rudy Gay, in Toronto.
The Grizzlies swept their Rudy Trade Road Trip and moved to 6-2 since their most recent roster shake-up after a surprisingly physical, often chaotic win in Toronto last night

The best shooting guard with whom Rudy Gay has ever played, DeMar DeRozan, was held to 7 points on 1-9 shooting as Tony Allen turned off his tap. But DeRozan wasn't alone in his struggles. Try on these shooting numbers from relied-upon scorers: Zach Randolph (4-17), Marc Gasol (2-12), Jerryd Bayless (3-9), Kyle Lowry (3-10).

And then there was Rudy Gay, who scored his 13 points on 5-15 shooting, with two of his five makes banked three-pointers and with 1-5 shooting and two turnovers in a hotly contested fourth quarter. Gay has gotten his wish in Toronto. He's gotten the green light to be a ball-dominant, high-volume shooter in an open system. On the whole, you could say both he and, especially, his team, have been better since the deal. But Gay has always been a little miscast in this role, and he's now shooting under 38% in Toronto.

In addition to Gay's two bankers, the Raptors also got two other four-point plays and a flurry a crazy shot-making from reserve forward Alan Anderson. The Grizzlies, whose defensive intensity has amped up considerably since that sleepy first quarter against Detroit, kept the Raptors from getting anything easy and then overcame their own poor overall shooting by taking care of the ball (only 11 turnovers), pounding the offensive glass (20 total), and making efficient use of the three-ball (6-13).

Mike Conley — 3-6 from deep on the game — doubled the team's lead with a pull-up three at just under the two-minute mark, but Zach Randolph got them there, his terrible shooting night mitigated by a warrior-like 14 free-throw attempts and 18 rebounds.

The Grizzlies' current five-game win streak in the longest active one in the Western Conference and second-longest active win streak in the league after the defending champion Miami Heat, winners of eight straight. They'll try to extend it to six at home against the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

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