MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The youthful Memphis Grizzlies relied on one of their veterans for a thrilling win on Friday night.
"I didn't have a chance to think it was off (line)," Gay said of the final shot. "I was thinking the whole time: 'I practice this a lot, so go out there and do what I practice."'
The shot over Keith Bogans came after Gay came around a screen by Marc Gasol. It gave Gay 29 points to lead the Grizzlies to their first win in a home opener since moving to Memphis in the 2001-02 season. Gay scored 14 of Memphis' 25 points in the fourth-quarter rally.
"Obviously, it was the Rudy show," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "He made some good plays. He made some incredible shots, and the last one was the winner."
Rashard Lewis led the Magic with 23 points, while Hedo Turkoglu finished with 18, nine rebounds and seven assists. Howard had 14 points and 14 rebounds, but managed only nine shots. Jameer Nelson had 11 points.
Gasol gave Memphis a chance to win in the final minute after blocking a shot and then tipping out Quinton Ross' miss with 26 seconds left and the score tied at 84.
Gay's 21-footer bounced over the backboard giving Orlando one last chance with 2.8 seconds left in regulation.
But with Gasol overplaying Howard in the low post, Kyle Lowry intercepted the inbounds for Memphis, setting the stage for Gay's shot. On the ensuing inbounds pass from Lowry, Bogans said he knew either Gay or Mayo would get the last shot.
"I felt like I was right with him the whole time," Bogans said the winning shot. "I wanted to make sure I didn't foul him. I just tried to keep a hand in his face. He elevated so high, and he made a tough shot."
Memphis trailed by 15 in the second half, but used a 13-0 run in the early stages of the fourth quarter to erase an 11-point Magic lead.
Orlando went more than six minutes without scoring during the Memphis rally, that culminated with Lowry's drive for a 76-74 lead with 5:32 left. From there, the teams exchanged leads, and two free throws by Hakim Warrick with 1:08 left tied the score at 84.
"Turnovers and forced shots killed us," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "When the game was on the line, we didn't even jump for rebounds. ... We had no energy, no ball movement."
Memphis, which has nine players 23 years old and younger, showed its youth movement by starting rookies Mayo, Gasol and Darrell Arthur, who finished with 10 rebounds.
At times, the matchup in the low post became entertaining as the rookie Gasol battled against Howard. The Magic center managed only four shots in the half, and at times appeared frustrated.
"That was their game plan to fight me and get physical," Howard said.
In the third quarter, Gasol got in foul trouble, and none of the other Grizzlies big men had the same impact, allowing Howard to be more dominant. Memphis allowed Orlando to build the advantage to 15 before carrying a 68-61 lead into the fourth.
But Orlando struggled in the second half, shooting only 25 percent, including 4-of-14 from the field in the fourth quarter. That left the Magic, in their 20th season, with an 0-2 start for only the third time in franchise history, the last time coming in 2005-06 when they lost three before a win.
"We'll get over it," Howard said. "There's some adversity that teams go through at the beginning of the season, some times at the end. I'm glad we're going through it now rather than at the end when we really need to buckle down.
"We've got to take a couple of these tough blows and get ourselves refocused."
- Memphis exercised the fourth-year option on F Rudy Gay and G Kyle Lowry, while picking up the third-year option on guards Mike Conley and Javaris Crittenton.
- The last time the Grizzlies started three rookies was their initial season in Memphis when Shane Battier, Pau Gasol and Will Solomon started three games.
- Howard got a technical midway through the second period.
- Gay got a technical later in the period when he slammed the ball to the floor after he thought he was fouled going to the basket.