Houston Explodes Late as Grizzlies Fall to Rockets

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Grizzlies controlled the score and tempo of the game for 36 minutes, before completely falling apart and giving up 38 points over the last 12 minutes and falling to the Rockets at home 93-86.

Last weekend, I shut down a bar for the first time in my life. It was a fun experience, and, being that I don't drink, one that I may never partake in again in my life.

As we were hanging out and the night drew on, one of my buddies started to really hit it off with the waitress, and I mean really hit it off. I, along with the few girls we were with, told him this was a sure thing. One hundred percent, he shouldn't have left there without, at the very least, this girl's number.

He left to go approach her as he was paying his tab, while the rest of us sat and chatted. A few minutes passed and he finally returned, looking dejected, without a number or email or even a twitter handle in hand.

We all double-checked with the females to make sure this wasn't a classic case of waitresses' doing their jobs and being mistaken for flirting.[i] They confirmed it was not. "She was definitely vibing you!" they proclaimed.

That meant only one thing: my buddy failed, miserably. He wouldn't tell us what he said or did, or if he full on vomited when he went to ask her out, but we had a new waitress when he came back, and one thing was undeniable clear: he let one slip away. He had no business leaving without that girls phone number, but somehow, someway, he couldn't come through.


Final - 11.25.2013 1 2 3 4 Total
Houston Rockets 20 12 23 38 93
Memphis Grizzlies 24 20 19 23 86

Complete Coverage >


The Grizzlies had no business losing to the Houston Rockets tonight. They controlled the first three quarters of the game while only getting a mediocre performance from Zach Randolph and an absolutely atrocious game from Mike Conley. They had limited the high-octane Rockets' offense to 55 points, and were up by eight heading into the final quarter. But they let it slip away.

Things started decently enough, with Memphis jumping out to an early 9-6 lead behind a quick Dwight Howard personal and technical foul. Mike Conley made the technical free throw, which would serve as his only point of the half.  Kosta Koufos, filling in for Marc Gasol, answered the bell rather nicely in his first start of the season. He played excellent defense on Dwight Howard, and was sound on the offensive side of the ball. Other than his good work, no one really stood out for the Grizzlies in the first quarter on the stat sheet, but they got balanced scoring, had good ball movement (8 assists in the quarter) and led by four after one.

Memphis would follow the same script in the second quarter, as they would watch their lead expand to 12 before halftime. They got assists on five of their nine buckets, and held the Rockets to a mere 12 points in the quarter. Despite the good ball movement, the Grizzlies only scored 20 points in the quarter, and they struggled mightily to do that much, needing three late buckets in the last minute and a half. But a Tony Allen layup at the buzzer would send them to halftime with good momentum and a double-digit lead.

Turn the page and move on -Kosta Koufos

The Grizzlies came out of the lockerroom and quickly made it a fourteen-point lead, behind two quick buckets (both of which were assisted). The Rockets began to make small runs, cutting the lead under double-digits and keeping themselves in the game, but Memphis kept answering with buckets of their own. With just over seven minutes to play in the third, Mike Conley went to the line to shoot another technical, doubling his point total to two on the night. Both teams would spend the next few minutes trading buckets as the lead went from 12 to 10 to 8 to 10 to 12 to 9 with just over two minutes remaining. The Rockets missed three 3's in the last minute and a half, and the Grizzlies lead by eight going into the final quarter. That's where things get ugly, fast.

The Grizzlies trotted out an all bench lineup of Nick Calathes, Jerryed Bayless, Mike Miller, Jon Leuer, and Ed Davis, and this group quite simply couldn't do anything right. I mean anything! Ed Davis missed a finger-roll. Jon Leuer had a shot blocked by Fransico Garcia. Nick Calathes couldn't run the offense. And all this was happening while the Rockets were beginning to light up the scoreboard for 10 points in the first three and half minutes. Dave Joerger gave that bench lineup four full minutes of run (with the exception of a solid thirty seconds where Tayshaun came in and absolutely nothing changed) and they quickly turned an eight point lead into a four point deficit.

The Grizzlies starters would come back in with just under eight minutes to play, but it was already too late. The Rockets, who had already scored 14 in the period, kept pouring it on. Chandler Parsons scored nine of his game high 17 in the quarter to go along with Omri Caspi's 11 fourth quarter points, as Houston scored 24 points over the last seven minutes, outscoring Memphis 38-23 total in the quarter on their way to a victory.

Game Notes from the Legend-wait for it-Diary

  1. This was by far Mike Conley's worst performance of the season, and yet he still finished with a double-double. He was 2-14 shooting on the night, something the Grizzlies simply cannot afford to have happen while Gasol is out.
  2. Congratulations to Quincy Pondexter, the inaugural member of the Dave Joerger Dog House.
  3. Jerryd Bayless (1-7, 0-2 from 3) and Nick Calathes combined for 6 points, 3 assits, and an abysmal -24 on the night. Words do not exist for how awful that is. That's almost "Get Keyon Dooling's agent on the phone" awful. (Almost.)
  4. Ed Davis is 6-9 with 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks in his last 32 minutes of game time (unfortunately, the Grizzlies are 0-2). It's not face of the franchise stuff, and it isn't even necessarily starting power forward stuff, but it is improvement, and very encouraging. Keep it up, Bossman.
  5. The only real compliment you can give the Grizzlies offense tonight was that it had a nice assist percentage at 65% (22 assists on 34 buckets). The problem is the only 34 made buckets part, and they looked ugly and out of sync for the majority of the second half.
  6. Late in the game, a fan behind me began to give Dwight Howard and Kevin McHale the business. "Hey whatever you do, don't put Dwight back in the game." This man said this same sentence, with the same tone and inflection in his voice, a solid 20 times over the last 8 minutes of the game, and just when you'd given up all hope and thought, "surely he won't do it again," there he was with a casual yet firm, "Hey whatever you do, don't put Dwight back in the game." It was brilliantly entertaining and humorous, and he even shouted it twice as the Rockets were heading back through the tunnel, when there was no game for Dwight to be put back in to. Thank you, whoever you are, for providing a much-needed laugh as the Grizzlies pissed away this game.

It was a frustrating game for the Grizzlies. They had this one in hand, but overall, they weren't playing well enough to win, and so, they didn't win. Memphis will get to face two inferior Eastern Conference opponents in the Celtics and Celtics Nets before this week ends, and it would be a nice time to begin getting themselves back on track as they continue to fight to get and stay above .500. It's going to be a work in progress without Marc Gasol, and while this was supremely disappointing, Memphis did at least prove that they are capable of playing well without their All-Star center for spurts of a game. The next step is for them to prove they can do it for a full 48 minutes.


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[i] Here's some more, classic Keith free dating advice. Don't ever assumer a waitress is into you. Ever. They are paid to be nice and friendly. Sure, there may exist some occasions where she may think you're cute, but nine hundred and ninety-nine out of one thousand times, she has no interest in you.  Nice doesn't always equal flirting, fellas. This does not apply for female patrons and male waiters. Girls, guys are always hitting on you. Always.

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