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Memphis, fired up Allen get best of Gay, Raptors

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Tony Allen admitted that Rudy Gay had him fired up for Wednesday's 88-82 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

The Grizzlies traded Gay to the Raptors on Jan. 30 and soon after declared Toronto's DeMar DeRozan as the best shooting guard he had played with.

"I heard him, all it did was fire me up," Allen said. "I was telling my teammates before the game that I was ready to compete. Yeah I heard him, it didn't do anything but make me prepare even more. I watched like 15 minutes of film on him [DeRozan]. The guy I didn't study was Alan Anderson."

Allen responded with 12 points and eight rebounds while holding DeRozan to seven points on 1-for-9 shooting from the floor. And late in the game, Allen helped keep a hot-shooting Anderson in check as the Grizzlies extended their winning streak to five games and snapped Toronto's at five.

"Tony did a good job on DeRozan," Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins said. "Then eventually he locked in on Alan Anderson and denied him the ball and they couldn't go through him."

Gay also fared poorly in the first game between the teams since the trade, going 5-for-15 for 13 points with nine rebounds.

"It was emotional a little bit," Gay said. "It was good to see the guys. But at the end of the day it was just one of those things that we still couldn't get it done."

"I must say I was fired up," Allen said.

Zach Randolph scored 17 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Grizzlies (35-18) while Mike Conley also had 17, including a big 3-pointer late in the game played before a crowd of 19,800 at Air Canada Centre.

Tayshaun Prince chipped in with 11 points for Memphis. Each team is 6-3 since the trade.

Anderson came off the bench to score 19 points for Toronto, 15 in the fourth quarter. Amir Johnson scored 16 points and Kyle Lowry had 12, including a four-point play with 20.6 seconds to play, hitting a free throw after being fouled making a 3-pointer to bring the Raptors to within three points.

Allen told Gay that he had heard the comments. "He just started laughing," Allen said. "He had to pump [DeRozan] that's what it was. There's no hard feelings. I'm always up for a challenge."

"It was an exciting basketball game," Hollins said. "There was a lot of emotion, there was a lot of intensity on both sides. It was really like a playoff game."

Raptors head coach Dwane Casey agreed. "The key is playoff-type basketball, the grinder type style," he said. "Once we decided to do that, we made the game competitive. I do not think we brought the intensity in the first half. They are the type of team that makes it tough for you."

Gay, held to three points in the first half, opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to cut the Grizzlies' lead to 66-60. After the Grizzlies went ahead by 10, Anderson hit a pair of 3-pointers to cut the lead to four.

Then with 6:33 left, Anderson made a four-point play, converting the free throw after making a 3-pointer to trim the Memphis lead to two. Johnson tied the game 77-77 with a layup with 4:09 to play.

But Randolph hit 3 of 4 free throws in two trips to the line and Conley hit a 3-pointer and Memphis led by six with 1:57 to play.

"They were just a little more scrappy than us," Gay said.

The Grizzlies led by 11 after a sloppy first half and were ahead by 13 after Allen made two free throws with 6:37 to play in the third quarter. But the Raptors cut the lead to six points when Johnson made a running slam dunk with 3:34 left in the quarter.

The Grizzlies got the lead back up to 11 before Anderson hit a pair of free throws to cut the Memphis lead to 66-57 after three quarters.

Gay did not score until he hit a 3-pointer with 5:14 left in the first half to cut the Grizzlies' lead to nine points. The Grizzlies shot 34.9 percent from the field in the first half but led 43-32 over the Raptors, who shot 25.7 percent.

"The first half we just weren't there," Gay said. "I don't know if it was the schedule, travel. I don't know. But we just weren't there mentally. In the second half, we amped it up. But against a team like that you can't pick it up in the second half and expect to win."

Neither team scored in the first 3:08 of the game until Johnson made a running dunk for Toronto. The quarter ended 19-14 in favor of Memphis with Gay going 0-for-4 from the field with no points.

Forward Ed Davis, who came to Memphis from Toronto as part of the trade, received an ovation when he entered the game as a substitute.

"I heard that, it was nice," he said after scoring four points with four rebounds and one block in 14 minutes. "It was kind of weird the first time back. I miss the place."

NOTES: Casey said he would like to see the team acquire more experience and a third point guard to help Lowry and John Lucas if a move is made before the trade deadline. But he said before the game, "I'm happy with the guys we have." ... Hollins said Davis, who was obtained as part of the deal that sent Gay to Toronto, has taken a while to get going with his new team. "He was a little slow getting acclimated," Hollins said before the game, "but in the two practices before the All-Star Game and the practice after it he was good and he played well (Tuesday) night (in a 105-91 win at Detroit). Davis scored 14 points, his best since joining the Grizzlies, and had a season-best four blocked shots in 21 minutes against the Pistons. ... The Grizzlies are home against the Orlando Magic on Friday while the Raptors host the New York Knicks.
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