Last night the Grizzlies defeated the Toronto Raptors at home in a game that saw two very different halves of basketball. The Grizzlies trailed Toronto 27–24 after the first quarter, and after a 24–20 second quarter they took a one-point lead into the locker room at halftime.
After the half, the Grizzlies came out morphed into Grizzly Power Rangers and pummeled the 3–13 Raptors into submission in what would’ve been a Vancouver vs. Toronto Battle for Canadian Supremacy back when Power Rangers were still cool. The Grizzlies outscored Toronto 33–14 in the third, led by some ridiculous Classic Tony Allen antics. The Raptors didn’t actually score a basket in the third until the 7:30 mark. All-Time Grizz-Killer Kyle Lowry, on the mend after an early-season injury, only managed 12 points and 4 assists. Without Andrea Bargnani, the Raptors were helpless to stop the inside game of the Grizzlies’ big men.
Here are some notes on the game:
- Welcome Back, Marreese: Marreese Speights finally emerged from hibernation and put up a big 18 points (on 11 shots) and 12 rebounds, seeming to shake off the slump he’s been in for most of the season thus far. Speights played almost 25 minutes, which was great — not only because he played lights-out during those minutes, but also because it meant Zach Randolph only had to play 30.
- Speaking of Zach Randolph’s 30 minutes, what minutes they were: Randolph, after missing a double double against Anderson Varejao and the Cavaliers Monday night, Randolph scored 17 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and (somehow) racked up 6 assists against Toronto. I don’t know how many other times Z-Bo has had 6 assists, but I do know it probably isn’t many.
- Tony Allen went into Super Ballistic Tony Allen Bonanza Mode during the third quarter, as the Grizzlies started to get out in transition and turned their one-point halftime lead into a twenty point (81–61) lead after the third. From there on out, it was smooth sailing for the Grizzlies, as Toronto was never really able to get back in the game.
- Rudy Gay and Quincy Acy got into it a little bit after Acy was called for a flagrant 1. There have been a lot of incidents this year where the Grizzlies have been in tense, heated situations this year. (The J.R. Smith / Jerryd Bayless tussle sticking out as the most notable to me.) I don’t know whether this is because the Grizzlies are more willing to throw down this year, or whether the no-flopping rule ("The Reggie Evans Rule Not Related to Nut Grabbing") has made the fouls harder and ratched up the intensity. I kinda like it, though. These dudes don’t bluff.
For more, visit Raptors HQ.
The Grizzlies face the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, again at home. The Pistons have been on a bit of a tear lately, winning 5 out of their last 8 after a rough start. Hopefully their visit to the Grindhouse leaves with another "L".
Just for the record, Power Rangers are still cool. I don’t care if you don’t believe me. ↩