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Gay's jumper gives Grizzlies seesaw win vs. Celtics

Dec 7, 2006 - 3:20 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Memphis Grizzlies tried to give away the game, but rookie Rudy Gay would not let them.

Gay sank a foul-line jumper with 2.6 second remaining to rescue the Grizzlies, who blew a 17-point fourth-quarter lead but held on for a 98-96 victory over the Boston Celtics.

Chucky Atkins scored 19 points for the Grizzlies, who also climbed out of a 15-point hole in the second quarter and won for just the second time in 11 road games this season.

"We were lucky to get out of there (with a win) the way they were hitting their shots," Gay said.

"It feels good for us to win on the road," Atkins said. "I think this needs to carry over."

Memphis held a 90-73 lead with less than six minutes to play and still owned a 94-80 advantage with 3:10 left before committing three straight turnovers that fueled a 14-0 run by Boston.

Gerald Green scored 12 points in the surge, and an acrobatic three-point play by Delonte West tied it, 94-94, with 40 seconds remaining.

"Gerald has clearly earned the minutes," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "He's going to have to play more. He's making shots."

"Doc made a great move," Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said. "He went completely small because of our situation. We are short right now on small people."

Atkins drained a jumper with 20 seconds to go before Paul Pierce tied it with a pair of free throws with 6.7 seconds left.

The Grizzlies inbounded to Mike Miller, who took one dribble toward the rim, stopped and passed across the lane to Gay, whose 14-footer hit the front of the rim, bounced off the backboard and dropped through the net.

"Mike drew the defense and I just went to the right spot and hit the open shot," Gay said. "I didn't think about what time (was remaining). I just wanted to help my team win.

"I thought (Green) thought that Gay was going to put it on the floor, so he kind of stopped short, where I thought he could've gotten out there," Rivers said.

Sebastian Telfair missed a harassed, hurried 3-pointer at the buzzer, sending the Celtics to their sixth loss in seven games.

Dahntay Jones and Lawrence Roberts scored 18 points each for the Grizzlies, who made 39-of-42 free throws but also committed six of their 13 turnovers in the final period. Roberts made 14-of-15 foul shots.

Paul Pierce scored 25 points and Green added 21 for the Celtics, who shot 48 percent (33-of-69) from the field but hurt themselves early with turnovers, finishing with 21.

"Turnovers really hurt us tonight," said Pierce, who had nine. "I was a big culprit of that. I put a lot of things on my shoulders."

Coming off Monday's loss at New York in which it fell behind early and never really recovered, Memphis was headed down a similar path, digging a 36-21 hole early in the second period.

Sparked by the energy of Roberts, some offense from Atkins and sloppy play by the Celtics, the Grizzlies got back in it. They scored eight straight points and kept coming, taking a 46-44 lead into halftime on a ferocious follow slam and free throw by Roberts.

"We had a good defensive run where we held those guys," Atkins said. "We just challenged everything that they did.

Jones scored eight points in the third period, helping stretch the lead to double digits. He had a pair of buckets early in the fourth quarter before a 3-pointer by Miller and two free throws by Roberts made it 90-73 with 5:58 to play.

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