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The Commercial Appeal, Mike Brown, Associated Press
Cars stand submerged in overflow water from the Wolf River on McMiller Road in Memphis, Tenn. on Tuesday, May 10, 2011. After weeks of rising to historic levels the Mississippi River reached a crest just shy of the forecasted 48 feet at the Memphis gauge. "It's going to meander around that level for the next 24 to 36 hours," meteorologist Bill Borghoff said. "We're going to pretty much hold onto the crest for a while."

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tony Allen was filling up his tank at a gas station when he realized just what the Grizzlies' stunning run through the NBA playoffs mean to Memphis as Tennessee fends off the overflowing Mississippi.

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Allen was wearing a Grizzlies' T-shirt with players pictured in a huddle with the words "Together we stand, divided we fall" when a woman approached him.

She didn't know who the Memphis guard was or ask for an autograph. The woman only wanted to know how she could get that T-shirt for herself.

The city of Memphis is painted Grizzlies' blue and yellow, and the team's surprising success is the perfect pick-me-up for a town dealing with a historical flood and desperate for a winner whose success can't be stripped away.