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Grizzlies rout Clippers in battle lowly clubs

Dec 6, 2008 - 5:08 AM By Devin Misko PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo combined to score 45 points as the Memphis Grizzlies ended their seven-game skid with a 93-81 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

Gay shot 10-of-17 from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, and Mayo hit 9-of-17 shots for the Grizzlies (5-14).

"My shot was falling tonight," Gay said. "I think it was the first time this year that I have hit a couple of shots in a row. Hopefully, it carries on and I can get back to my old self."

In the fourth quarter, Memphis extended its lead with five straight points from Gay, including a deep three and fadeaway baseline jumper. Mayo nailed a short jumper from the right side with 2:04 to play to give Memphis its largest advantage of the night at 87-71.

"We had to sit down and reevaluate our team," Memphis guard Kyle Lowry said. "We always said we wanted to play hard. We can't just do it for 24 or 36 minutes. We have to do it for 48."

The Grizzlies, who had lost 11 of their last 12 games, started center Darko Milicic in place of Marc Gasol and Lowry in place of Mike Conley.

Lowry responded with six points, five assists and five rebounds in the starting role, while Milicic came up with nine rebounds for the game.

"I went into the game trying to bring the energy up," Lowry said. "I tried to get everyone going right off the jump and it was effective."

The first quarter saw Memphis rookie Mayo take control, scoring 12 points as the Grizzlies stormed out to lead by five on two separate occasions.

Mayo, who was guarded by the Clippers' Baron Davis, seemingly had no issue getting his shot off, going 5-of-7 in the quarter.

Davis, though, drained a deep three from the left wing as time expired to give the Clippers a 25-24 lead.

Mayo has scored in double figures in 19 straight games to start his NBA career, which ties him with current Los Angeles Lakers star forward Lamar Odom.

The Clippers (3-16) balanced out Mayo's production by coming out of the gates shooting at a 60-percent clip for the first quarter.

Conley started the second quarter after watching Lowry, his replacement in the starting line-up, struggle to balance the Grizzlies' attack.

Conley would provide a spark, finishing with seven points in the second quarter and nailing five straight points in a 6-0 run that gave Memphis a 51-44 lead at the half.

"I thought our guys played harder and more together than they've played in the past," Memphis head coach Marc Iavaroni said. "Regardless, if you're playing an elite team or a team that's struggling, I think it's important that we establish that again and get back the trust in each other."

Gay exploded for seven of his nine first-half points in the quarter, including dropping in his lone 3-pointer. Gay also was on the end of a fast break alley-oop from Mayo in the midst of the late-quarter run that broke open the quarter.

"We basically played team defense, passed the ball around and played a complete game," Gay said. "Your teammates have to trust you. If we can get that trust back, pass the ball around and take the right shot, then we will be pretty good."

"Our turnovers tonight really hurt us," Los Angeles head coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We just got killed on the boards. Their size really hurt us. They were able to control the glass and were able to get up the court and score off of our turnovers. I thought that was the difference in the game."

"I thought we relaxed a little bit defensively and that gave them the opportunity on the offensive end to push the lead up," Davis said. "We're not playing team ball and we haven't formed yet as a team."

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