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In Vince Carter’s first return to Dallas, the Memphis Grizzlies fall to the Dallas Mavericks.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis 103 - Dallas 108

In the first quarter, the Grizzlies came out cold, allowing Dallas to go on a 7-0 run.  However, Marc Gasol helped steady the ship by scoring 13 pts and by the end of the quarter, the Grizz and Mavericks were all squared up at 27.

In the second, the Grizzlies went on a 4 minute vacation and allowed the Mavericks to build a lead of 9pts. For most of the game, this was the cushion that helped the Mavs keep things from getting close.

Despite coming out hot in the start of the 3rd, the Grizz could barely chip away at the Mavericks' lead early and eventually fell down by 19 pts.

Down 16 entering the 4th quarter, the Grizzlies' bench fought back to cut the Dallas lead to 5 late, but couldn't rally in the final minutes and fell to the Mavs 103-108

3 take-aways from this game:

  1. The Grizzlies overall played pretty poorly, but Marc Gasol was a beast. He single-handedly kept the Grizz in the game in the first quarter and ended up with 17pts and 7 rebounds (5-5 ft's) in 23 mins. Marc played most of the first and didn't re-enter the game until after the halfway point in the 2nd quarter. He was ice cold by that point, but I doubt that he'll need to sit that long in a regular season game (and hope that he doesn't) . He came out on fire in the start of the 3rd but barely shot the rest of the quarter.  He was rested in the 4th. It is really nice to see Marc take charge and put the team on his back.  This needs to be the year where he is the first option on offense.
  2. If by some chance Joerger is planning on resting Marc for half a quarter, the bench has to step up. After signing Vince Carter and getting Quincy back from injury, this is supposed to be the year our bench is able to compete and stay in games. For the last two years, the Grizzlies have hemorrhaged away leads and fallen into huge holes by going on long cold streaks. During last season, almost all games in which they fell under by 15pts, they lost.
  3. 5-21 beyond the arc and 28-40 at the stripe are not going to win many games.

+1)  Plenty of teams will have problems guarding Dirk, but I'm afraid Randolph is going to get killed by stretch 4's all year. It was a noticeable problem last year and it may be a significant one this year. I know you don't want Marc guarding Dirk and I'm not sure Leuer is the answer, but this is something that needs to be addressed and figured out.