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Gay, Navarro lead Grizzlies past Magic

Dec 16, 2007 - 4:51 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Rudy Gay and the Memphis Grizzlies had enough with all the losing.

Gay scored a career-high 32 points as the Grizzlies posted a 123-119 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday.

Rookie Juan Carlos Navarro scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and Mike Miller scored 19 for Memphis, which snapped a six-game losing streak.

"We are definitely relieved," Gay said. "Coming in here, we knew we had to get this win."

The Grizzlies, who avoided their longest skid in over a year - seven losses - from November 4-18, 2006, also have won nine of 11 vs. the Magic.

"Memphis played a great basketball game," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "Gay obviously killed us, but I thought Navarro was the guy who really broke our back. I thought we did a decent job on Miller but he still had a really good game. We just couldn't handle Gay at all, and Navarro kept knocking down important shots."

Trailing, 88-85, entering the fourth quarter, Gay, who connected on 13-of-21 from the floor, scored six quick points to give Memphis a 91-90 advantage at the 9:52 mark of the period.

"I think Rudy came in to this year saying, 'I can do some special things this year,'" Grizzlies coach Mark Iavaroni said. "He wants to be a guy who can play some defense, guard a tough guy, make big shots, score in the low post, score on the perimeter and go at people every night like they're mismatches."

After a dunk by Dwight Howard pushed Orlando to a 97-96 lead with 7:37 left, Navarro hit the first of his three shots from the arc in the final quarter to put Memphis up by two.

Andre Brown split a pair of free throws to give the Grizzlies a 104-103 lead with 4:41 left before Miller drilled a 3-pointer to advance the lead to four just 36 seconds later.

"We had nothing to lose, and I don't think too many people thought we would win the game," Miller said. "We went out and played with confidence and played well."

Hedo Turkoglu hit a pair of shots from the free-throw line to cut the Magic's deficit to 112-109 with 1:44 remaining, but Navarro made another 3-pointer with 45 ticks on the clock before Memphis went 8-of-8 from the foul line in the last 34 seconds to preserve the win.

Kyle Lowry had 12 points and seven assists off the bench for the Grizzlies, who shot 53 percent (45-of-85) from the field and had just 10 turnovers after committing 25 one night earlier in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Howard had 31 points and 20 rebounds for his NBA-leading 21st double-double of the campaign for the Magic. It was the ninth 20-20 game and the third 30-20 game of the 22-year-old Howard's young career.

"We have lost four out of five and are just in a bad time right now," Van Gundy said. "We are not playing well."

Turkoglu scored 24 points but had just four of them on 1-of-5 shooting in the fourth for Orlando, which shot 51 percent (42-of-82) from the floor and has lost three straight at home.

"Other teams don't have any respect for us when we play at home," Howard said. "When we play home, it's like Disney World, it's all smiles and funny. We can't have that. When we play, we have to go out there and have to play hard."

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