When the shot swished through the net, the giddy Memphis Grizzlies had plenty to celebrate.
Gay tied his season high with 33 points, including a clutch jumper with 19 seconds remaining, Zach Randolph(notes) added 21 points and 11 rebounds, and the Grizzlies registered their first road win of the season with a 102-97 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
“My jump shot felt good all night, said Gay, who shot 14 of 22 and added 10 rebounds. “I didn’t force anything. I just had a good feel the whole night.”
Marc Gasol(notes) had 19 points and O.J. Mayo(notes) 12 for the Grizzlies (4-8), who have won three straight and improved to 1-6 on the road. It was their first three-game winning streak in November since 2005, and their first victory in Philadelphia since Feb. 9, 2005.
No member of the current Grizzlies team was on the roster for that last win.
“It’s great to get a road win,” said Gasol, who also contributed eight rebounds. “It really helps to build confidence, which a young team needs.”
“It was about team versus non-team,” Philadelphia coach Eddie Jordan said.
With the Grizzlies leading 98-95, Gay connected on a 17-foot jumper from the right wing with a second remaining on the shot clock to seal the victory. Gay scored 12 points in the fourth quarter on 5-of-7 shooting and finished the game with 10 rebounds.
“I wanted the ball in my hands,” Gay said. “I got that big shot within the flow of the offense.”
A number of Allen Iverson(notes) jerseys were visible throughout the arena as the crowd anticipated the return of the former Sixers All-Star guard. Though Iverson was waived by the Grizzlies on Tuesday, a larger-than-usual crowd of 14,269 still showed up at the Wachovia Center.
Without Iverson, the young Grizzlies raced past the Sixers en route to a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.
A jumper by Iguodala cut the lead to 92-86 before Marcus Williams hit a jumper and Gay followed with a fast-break layup for a 96-86 advantage with 4:08 remaining.
The Sixers scored five straight to get within 96-91 before Mike Conley(notes) hit a layup, his first field goal, for a 98-91 lead with 1:52 left. Though the Sixers did close within three, it wasn’t enough.
“It’s definitely a tough loss,” Iguodala said. “They just put it to us. We’ve got to find a way to regroup.”
Leading 72-71, the Grizzlies went on to score the final six points of the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Mayo, a free throw by Williams and a driving layup by Williams for a 78-71 advantage.
Williams scored 16 points for the Sixers as they held a 50-49 advantage at halftime.
NOTES: Sixers C Primoz Brezec(notes) was called on for the first time this season, playing four minutes in the first half. He was 0 for 3 with two rebounds. … Memphis missed all four of its 3-pointers in the first half. … The Sixers play seven of their next eight games on the road. … Memphis outrebounded the Sixers 48-28.