Grizzlies 96 Raptors 85
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Zach Randolph scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and the Memphis Grizzlies woke up from a slow start to beat the Toronto Raptors 96-85 on Monday night.
Rudy Gay added 18 for Memphis, which won its second straight. Tony Allen had 14 points and a season-high six steals, part of 15 Memphis steals on the night. Allen also had eight rebounds, also a season high.
Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo had 12 points apiece.
Linas Kleiza led the short-handed Raptors with 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting. DeMar DeRozan finished with 18 points. Jose Calderon had 13 and Leandro Barbosa scored 11.
Joey Dorsey finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors, who lost their third straight and fifth in the last six.
The Raptors were without their leading scorer (Andrea Bargnani, 21.2 points), their leading rebounder (Reggie Evans, 12.1) and starter Sonny Weems. Add Peja Stojakovic to the wounded, and Toronto pieced together a squad with no player taller than six-foot-10 forward Ed Davis, except for seldom-used, 7-1 rookie Solomon Alabi.
But Toronto, which hadn’t played since Wednesday, looked fresher early than the Grizzlies, who won in Indianapolis on Sunday night. While Toronto couldn’t maintain its early shooting accuracy, the Raptors had more energy than Memphis, building a 12-point lead in the first quarter.
The Grizzlies finally got going behind their defence, forcing Toronto turnovers that led to fast-break baskets in the second quarter. That fuelled a 16-3 run that erased the Toronto lead.
The rally helped Memphis carry a 48-44 lead into the locker-room after Calderon’s three-pointer as the horn sounded.
Memphis’ lead reached double digits before three minutes were gone in the second half. Randolph, who was held to six points at the break, added eight points during the opening minutes of the third quarter.
The Grizzlies outscored the Raptors 29-19 in the third and carried a 77-63 lead into the final period.
The lead was 16 early in the fourth before the Raptors got within 83-77 near the midway point of the period. Consecutive baskets by Randolph extended the margin back to double digits, part of a 12-2 run that put the game out of reach.
NOTES: Evidence of how bad the Raptors’ injury situation has been: Only Amir Johnson and DeRozan have played in all 13 games in December. … Dorsey played collegiately at the University of Memphis and still gets a warm welcome when he returns, earning a rousing cheer when he was announced in the starting lineup. It was Dorsey’s second start of the season. … Toronto has not won in five road games against the Western Conference. Sam Young started at G for Memphis, replacing rookie Xavier Henry, who is dealing with some knee issues. Henry was active for the game, but did not play. … Gay had five steals, matching his career high. He also had five against the Pacers on Sunday night.