• Grizzlies beat Heat to snap four-game losing skid

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    HOOK SHOT  Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots over Chris Andersen #11 of the Miami Heat during a game at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. AFP PHOTO

    HOOK SHOT
    Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots over Chris Andersen #11 of the Miami Heat during a game at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. AFP PHOTO

    MIAMI: Mike Conley scored 24 points and Marc Gasol added 22 points and 10 rebounds to power the Memphis Grizzlies over Miami 103-95 on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) and snap a four-game losing skid.

    Beno Udrih added 11 points and Tayshaun Prince contributed 10 for the Grizzlies, who played a fourth consecutive game without inside star Zach Randolph, who has a knee injury.

    Dwyane Wade, whose 31-point performance sparked Miami over Cleveland and ex-teammate LeBron James two nights earlier, scored 25 points while reserve Danny Granger scored 18 points and Britain’s Luol Deng added 16.

    The Heat fell to 14-17 and have not won back-to-back games in more than a month.

    Memphis took a big lead but Miami trimmed the deficit to a single point several times in the fourth quarter only to fall short of overtaking the Grizzlies each time.

    Conley’s floater gave Memphis a 93-86 lead with 2:54 remaining. Mario Chalmers’ three-point play and two Chris Andersen free throws pulled the Heat within 93-91 but Gasol added two free throws and later blocked a Chalmers shot in the closing seconds to seal Miami’s fate.

    Heat forward Chris Bosh missed his eighth game in a row with a left calf strain.

    In Los Angeles, Kyle Lowry scored 25 points and Greivis Vasquez sparked a key fourth-quarter run to power the Toronto Raptors over the Los Angeles Clippers 110-98.

    Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Amir Johnson added 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who improved the best record in the Eastern Conference to 23-7.

    JJ Redick scored 23 points while Blake Griffin added 22 and reserve Jamal Crawford contributed 20 for the Clippers, who fell to 20-11, sixth in the Western Conference.

    Deadlocked 49-49 at half-time, the teams stayed close into the fourth quarter, which began with Toronto ahead 80-78 thanks to a Valanciunas layup five seconds before the third quarter ended.

    The Raptors then began the fourth quarter with a 13-2 run sparked by Venezuelan guard Vasquez, who made two 3-pointers and another basket for eight consecutive points in the pivotal spurt.

    That put Toronto ahead 93-80 with nine minutes remaining and the Raptors held off the hosts from there for their seventh win in eight games.

    AFP

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