Raptors shoot 29.5 percent, lose to Grizzlies

  • Associated Press
  • Saturday, February 7, 2009 8:09pm
  • SportsSports

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — O.J. Mayo scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth period, including nine straight, and the Memphis Grizzlies held on to defeat the Toronto Raptors 78-70 on Saturday night.

Mayo’s 3-pointer with 25.7 seconds left was costly for the Raptors, who had erased a 13-point lead in the second half and lost their sixth straight. The primary problem was Toronto was shooting a season-low 29.5 percent from the field, and missing its first 13 shots outside the arc.

Memphis has won three of four.

Hakim Warrick matched Mayo’s 16 points and both grabbed eight rebounds. Mike Conley scored 15 points and handed out eight assists.

Jose Calderon led the Raptors with 18 points and five assists. Joey Graham finished with 14 points, and Jason Kapono had 12, including 4-of-6 outside the arc in the fourth to help the Raptors rally in the fourth.

Both teams were short-handed, Memphis was missing second-leading scorer Rudy Gay with a hip flexor, while the Raptors’ leading scorer and rebounder Chris Bosh missed his second game with a sprained right knee.

Memphis built the lead to 13 early in the second half by outscoring Toronto 7-2 to open the third period.

Toronto finally got untracked with 11 unanswered points spanning the third and fourth quarters to overtake Memphis.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Kapono gave Toronto the lead.

From there, Mayo took over, scoring nine straight points to erase the Toronto advantage, and Memphis never trailed again.

In addition to Gay, Memphis was without starting forward Darrell Arthur and reserve guard Kyle Lowry.

As they did in Friday night’s loss to the Clippers, Memphis dealt with early foul troubles on the front line. Marc Gasol had three fouls before the midway point of the second quarter, and Darko Milicic picked up two fouls in a minute.

The Raptors’ problems continually revolved around shooting. Toronto never got over 30 percent in the first half, including missing all 10 of its 3-point tries in the first half, a slump that would eventually extend to 13. The Raptors went to the locker room at 25 percent from the field and trailing 43-35, Memphis’ largest lead of the first half.

The play was so sporadic that neither team could put any distance between the other. Toronto held an early five-point advantage.

Graham had 10 points for the Raptors. The rest of the Raptors starters were a combined 5-of-23 at that point. Off the bench, Kapono missed seven shots.

Warrick led Memphis with 10 points.

Toronto’s shooting woes continued into the second half. The Raptors missed five of their first six shots in the half, and Memphis used the slump to extend the lead to 13.

The Raptors weren’t the only ones having problems. Memphis was about 40 percent in the third, but the Grizzlies guards — Mayo and Conley — were a combined 5-of-20. They would end the night 11-of-34.

Calderon made a 3-pointer with 2:47 left in the third, Toronto’s first basket from outside the arc after missing 13.

Toronto would chip away at the lead, cutting the deficit to 60-55 through three periods.

Notes: Raptors G Will Solomon was taken by the Grizzlies in

the second round of the 2001 draft. That was his only season in the NBA before signing with the Raptors last summer. He has played overseas since his rookie season with stops in places like Greece, Istanbul, Israel and Turkey. Solomon did not play Saturday night. In addition to Gay, Lowry missed his third game due to a right ankle sprain, and F Darrell Arthur missed his second for family reasons. Jermaine O’Neal thought he was fouled when Hakim Warrick dunked over him in the second quarter. He was so emphatic about the disagreement that official Bennie Adams handed him a technical. A 19-footer by Memphis G Greg Buckner as the horn to end the third quarter sounded, initially was ruled good, but reversed after officials reviewed the replay.

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