Grizzlies ‘refused to lose’

Posey scores 38 points in 136-133 2OT victory

? James Posey was dehydrated and badly in need of fluids after a game that lasted 3 hours, 15 minutes.

His persistence was obvious, and so was that of the Memphis Grizzlies.

“We refused to lose,” said Posey, who had 49 minutes of a possible 58 of playing time.

He scored a career-high 38 points — including a buzzer-beating three-pointer to force a second overtime period — and the rampaging Grizzlies beat Atlanta, 136-133, Monday night in the highest-scoring game of the season.

Officials reviewed the play to confirm Posey’s shot at the end of the first overtime was launched before time ran out. Posey also hit two free throws with 10.7 seconds left in the second overtime, and the Hawks missed two late three-point attempts.

Posey also had 11 rebounds, and Jason Williams scored 22 points in the Grizzlies’ sixth straight victory. Memphis is now 5-0 in overtime games, 13-2 this month and an NBA-best 24-5 since Feb. 1.

Posey said his three-pointer at the end of the first overtime was a planned play.

“I told Shane (Battier) I was going to go up the sideline and to hit me,” Posey said. “I saw a second was on the clock and I was going to give it a chance. It felt good, but a lot of shots feel good and don’t go in.”

Pau Gasol, the leading scorer and rebounder for the playoff-bound Grizzlies, sprained the arch in his right foot near the end of the first half.

Gasol scored 16 points in 13 minutes. He said he hurt his foot “trying to change direction, change speed.”

Memphis forward James Posey (41) goes to the basket against Atlanta's Chris Crawford. Posey scored a career-high 38 points, and the Grizzlies defeated the Hawks, 136-133 in double overtime, Monday at Philips Arena in Atlanta.

Stephen Jackson led the Hawks with 28 points. Bob Sura added 23 points with 13 rebounds, and Jason Terry had 23 points. Chris Crawford scored 22 points but fouled out.

The 269 combined points surpassed by seven the total between Atlanta and Washington when the Hawks beat the Wizards, 138-124, March 12.

Knicks 92, Blazers 91

New York — Vin Baker make a jump hook over the outstretched arm of Theo Ratliff, the league’s leading shot blocker, with 38 seconds left to lift New York. Tim Thomas returned after a four-game injury absence and scored 11 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter. Stephon Marbury added 23. Damon Stoudamire had 20 points and Zach Randolph 19 for the Blazers.

Celtics 84, Nets 80

East Rutherford, N.J. — Paul Pierce overcame early foul trouble to score 18 of his 21 points in the second half for Boston. Ricky Davis added 17, and Mark Blount had 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Celtics. Richard Jefferson led the Nets with 24 points, and Lucious Harris added 18. The Nets played their sixth game without injured Kenyon Martin and Jason Kidd, and fell to 1-5 without them.

Spurs 101, Cavaliers 93

San Antonio — Manu Ginobili scored 21 points for San Antonio, which dropped Cleveland 11/2 games behind Boston in the race for the final playoff spot in Eastern Conference. Tim Duncan added 18 points for the Spurs, 11/2 games behind leader Minnesota in the Midwest Division. Rookie LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas each had 18 points for the Cavaliers.

T’wolves 94, Rockets 88

Houston — Kevin Garnett scored six of his 27 points in the last two minutes, and Sam Cassell added 24 points for Minnesota. The Timberwolves had lost four straight in Houston. Maurice Taylor, Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley had 17 points apiece for Houston. Lattrell Sprewell hit two free throws with eight seconds remaining, and Cassell hit two more with one second to play for the final score.

Heat 105, Bulls 96

Miami — Caron Butler scored 12 of his season-high 30 points in the fourth quarter and pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds to lead Miami. Dwyane Wade finished with 21 points as the Heat won their ninth consecutive home game. Kirk Hinrich scored 20 points to lead the Bulls, who have lost five straight games.

Suns 101, Wizards 95

Phoenix — Shawn Marion had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and came up big on defense late in the game to lead Phoenix. Joe Johnson added 18 points and Amare Stoudemire 15 in the Suns’ fourth win in six games. Marion blocked four shots. Washington’s Larry Hughes scored 32 points, and Gilbert Arenas added 30, but made only one of three free throws with 31 seconds remaining in the Wizards’ 10th loss in 12 games.