- The Washington Times - Friday, April 3, 2009

MEMPHIS, TENN. (AP) - Rudy Gay had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Mike Conley added 25 points to help the Memphis Grizzlies win their third straight game, 107-102 over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.

O.J. Mayo, who put the game out of reach with consecutive baskets in the final 1:42, added 19 points and nine rebounds for the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol had 13 points and nine rebounds, and Marko Jaric finished with 10 points.

Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 35 points, 25 of them in the second half. Jason Terry scored 16 points, and Erick Dampier, Brandon Bass and Jose Barea had 10 each.

The game was tied at 97 with 3:10 left.

Mayo hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 1:42 left to give Memphis a 100-97 lead, and added a jumper with just under 40 seconds left.

Dallas was trying to move up the ladder in the playoff picture. The Mavericks entered the night with a four-game lead over Phoenix for the final postseason berth in the Western Conference.

Both teams started well from the floor, shooting about 60 percent until the final minute of the first quarter. And there was physical play in the post as Dampier and Gasol banged on each other almost from the opening tip.

Dallas built its lead to nine in the half, but Memphis chipped away with a boost from Jaric off the bench, and Mayo’s outside shooting.

Both teams continued shooting well in the half, with Dallas making 55 percent of its shots and Memphis hitting at a 61 percent clip. The teams went to the dressing room deadlocked at 61 after a hook from Gasol with 7 seconds left in the half.

Memphis opened the second half with an 11-4 run to open a 72-65 lead.

Things got a bit confusing in the third quarter. First, Conley’s shot with 3:48 left was ruled a 2-pointer after a 3 was put on the scoreboard. Then, the clock continued to run after Nowitzki’s layup with 3:06 left, and officials had to add 7 seconds to correct the clock.

But when all the discussion was over, Dallas had pulled even with Memphis at 77, and had an 85-84 lead at the end of the third.

Nowitzki had 17 points in the quarter.

Notes:@ The Grizzlies have won three straight for the first time since mid-December. … Mavericks F Josh Howard, who returned two games ago after missing 11 with a bum left ankle, did not play. The official reason was the sore ankle, but Howard also aggravated a left wrist injury when he took a charge Wednesday night against Miami. … James Singleton started his sixth game of the season in Howard’s place. … The victory gave Memphis 14 wins at home this season, matching the Grizzlies’ home win total in each of the previous two seasons. The Grizzlies have three home games left to surpass the total. … Memphis coach Lionel Hollins drew a technical in the first quarter after he thought Gasol was fouled in the post by Dampier on consecutive possessions. Official David Guthrie did the honors after Hollins gave him an earful the second time. … Nowitzki has scored at least 20 points in 19 straight games, the longest current streak in the NBA.

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