Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - DeMar DeRozan supplied 21 points in the Toronto Raptors' 96-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday in a matchup of two of the NBA's best.
Kyle Lowry posted 18 points with seven assists and Terrence Ross was a focal point in the victory, scoring 14 of his 16 in the fourth quarter. The Raptors have won seven of their last eight and they will look to improve that mark as they close out their seven-game homestand on Friday against Milwaukee.
Marc Gasol led an unhealthy Memphis team with 22 points to go along with 12 rebounds and Zach Randolph deposited 18 points and 18 boards for the Grizzlies, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Memphis was without Courtney Lee, Tony Allen, Kosta Koufos, Jon Leuer and Beno Udrih as they all dealt with undisclosed illnesses. Lee and Allen received fluids at a hospital because of dehydration.
Grizzlies guard and long-time Raptor Vince Carter was honored with a video montage during the first quarter as part of Toronto's 20th anniversary celebration for the franchise. A teary-eyed Carter waived to the crowd as he received a long standing ovation from the Toronto faithful.
"It was amazing," Carter said of the tribute. "I didn't know how I was going to act. It was amazing to watch everything on the screen and it just felt like yesterday."
Memphis led by five with under four minutes to play in the fourth when the Raptors locked down on the defensive end. Ross nailed a 3-pointer before Lowry converted a layup to tie the game.
Mike Conley countered with a jumper with 2 1/2 minutes remaining, but that would be the last gasp from the Grizzlies' offense. DeRozan knotted the score back up with a pull-up jumper, then Lowry followed two misses at the free throw line from Gasol with a driving layup.
Conley was called for a charge on Memphis' next touch, and Randolph squandered a chance to tie it with 33.9 seconds left when he missed a mid-range jumper.
Lowry put the game away as he dribbled out the clock and hit Conley with a step-back jumper in the closing seconds to account for the final margin.
"Tonight, a lesson has to be learned," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said of his team's 50-35 disadvantage on the boards. "Our big guys have to rebound better than that. We faced adversity and we gutted one out."
The Raptors led 22-20 after the first quarter, but Carter's 3-pointer capped Memphis' second quarter and helped it to a 48-42 lead at the break. Each team scored 27 in the third as the Grizzlies brought their halftime margin into the final quarter.
Casey passed former Raptors coach Lenny Wilkins for second place on the team's all-time list with his 114th win. He now trails only Sam Mitchell (156) for the franchis lead ... It was the second time all year Memphis lost when leading after three quarters (9-2) ... The Grizzlies re-signed Kalin Lucas and Hassan Whiteside from the NBA's Developmental League prior to the game.