Well Hello There, Fourth Place! Grizzlies Fall to Jazz

USA TODAY Sports

The Grizzlies got beaten by the Utah Jazz on the final game of their four game road trip.

Well...that was pathetic. I don't want to hear about being tired, or it being the fourth game in five nights. I don't want to hear that the gas tank was on 'E.' The Grizzlies just laid a big, fat egg tonight in Utah.

Things started off nicely enough for Memphis, as they opened up to a 9-1 lead. Zach was muscling his way inside and getting easy buckets. Turnovers would get the best of the Grizzlies in the quarter, as they trailed by one heading into the second.

In the second, the Grizzlies would ride Zach Randolph, who had 15 points and 8 rebounds at the half, for a five point lead, 50-45 at the break. Then the third quarter happened.

The Grizzlies, who have been mauling opponents in third quarters of late, scored 9 total points in the period, with their first bucket coming about 5 minutes into the period. The Grizzlies had three turnovers and four missed layups in the third, and only made two field goals.

In the fourth, after trailing by double digits, Memphis would make a run, cutting it to 3 with under a minute to play, but a rare Jerryd Bayless turnover followed by a Gordon Hayward 3 would be the dagger for a Grizzlies team that just didn't have it tonight.

Game Notes

  1. Zach Randolph had 19 points and 9 rebounds, on 7-11 shooting (one being a desperation 3 at the end of a shot clock) He scored just 4 points in the second half, and three players took more shots than he did. Brevon Knight said during the game the Grizzlies are going to have to figure out who to go to in crunch situations with Rudy Gay gone, and that is pure grade A bologna. They need to go to Zach Randolph, especially on nights where he is dominating, and especially on nights where the rest of the team is shooting under 40%. The lack of touches for the big fella tonight was inexcusable.
  2. The Grizzlies had 14 assists on 33 made baskets, for 42%, well below what they'd been averaging since the trade. The proof is in the pudding with the Grizzlies and their assist percentages. When the ball movement is good, they win. When it's not, they score nine points in the third quarter.
  3. Ed Davis got just 16 minutes tonight. I don't know why, when you are playing your fourth game in five nights, and your bigs aren't particularly athletic or in great shape, that you would play your best back up big only 16 minutes, especially when he has played so well this season and since coming to Memphis.
  4. Austin Daye snuck in the game for four minutes, and was a -7 for the game, meaning the team lost about 2 points for every minute was in. Lionel put him in to spread the floor, and then didn't even leave him in long enough to take a shot to help the team, or his +/-. Again, odd.
  5. The Grizzlies only forced five turnovers on the night. Five. In 48 minutes.
The loss sends Memphis back to fourth place in the Western Conference, after a very short stay in third, and only a half game up on the Nuggets, who own the tie-breaker with them. It also takes out the vast majority of the air and momentum from the Clippers victory. Coming into this road trip, I think a lot of us would have accepted a 2-2 road trip, but when you win the first two games, you can't get swept in the next two, you just can't. You just can't.
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