In the first game of a road back-to-back that sees the Grizzlies take on recent trade partners the Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors in consecutive nights, the Grizzlies struggled to get off to a good start.
In the first quarter tonight, the Grizzlies found themselves in a hole early, looking like they maybe had too much fun on the All Star break. They got down in a hurry, playing sloppy and struggling to guard the pick and roll, and by the end of the first quarter, they were trailing 30-22.
The second quarter saw the Griz start firing on all cylinders (except for all the bizarre technical fouls being passed out like Halloween candy), and outscored the Pistons 31-12 to take a 53-42 lead into the locker room at the half. In the third quarter, it was more of the same, with the Grizzlies outscoring the Pistons 31-18 to take a huge 84-60 lead into the final frame.
Five Griz players ended up in double figures: Mike Conley with 19, Zach Randolph with 15 (and 10), Ed Davis with 14, and Tony Allen and Quincy Pondexter both with 10. It seemed like everything was in cruise control after the half, and Lionel Hollins played a pretty short rotation for most of the game -- maybe experimenting with potential playoff rotations of Jerryd Bayless, Darrell Arthur, and Austin Daye off the bench -- before opening up the Tony Wroten and Jon Leuer floodgates in garbage time.
Overall, it was mostly just good to watch a Grizzlies game again. They hadn't played a game since Tuesday of last week, and it was starting to feel like they might be gone forever.
As for the fact that the Grizzlies have to do it all again tomorrow, well, Jon Roser had a good tweet about that:
Conley 30min, Gasol & Z-Bo 27min, TA & Prince 20min. Love it.— Jon Roser (@Jon_Roser) February 20, 2013
Tomorrow night the Grizzlies are in Toronto to take on Rudy Gay and his new Raptors team. He and fellow grumpy former Griz Kyle Lowry have probably already started stabbing their Lionel Hollins voodoo dolls in anticipation... but more on that tomorrow.
As for tonight, the Grizzlies win!