The Grizzlies can't stop winning.
Memphis fell behind by double digits early, but rebounded behind monster outings from Mike Conley and Marc Gasol to take control of the game and take a 112-99 victory that improved the Grizzlies' record to an unbelievable 14-2. Here's my three takeaways from the win:
1) The Grizzlies Showed Off Their Resiliency
Memphis got off to about the worst start it could have possibly hoped for with the Blazers jumping out to an 18-6 lead over the first seven minutes of the game. During that start the Grizzlies looked totally lost defensively, giving up multiple open jumpers, and they were just as poor on the offensive end as they failed to generate any high percentage shots.
With five minutes remaining in the first Courtney Lee drilled an open top of the key three-pointer, and everything changed from there. Memphis ratcheted up the intensity on defense, and turned the Portland misses into makes on the other end as the Grizz out-scored the Blazers 46-25 over the rest of the first half to go into the locker room with a nine-point advantage at the halftime break.
2) Marc Gasol Was Amazing Yet Again
Gasol finished with 26 points, seven rebounds and nine(!) assists, and shot 8-9 at the free throw line in a game where the rest of the team couldn't buy a foul shot. Perhaps what's most insane about Marc's stat line tonight is that he's been doing this with regularity. Tonight was Gasol's ninth game this season in which he's scored 20+ points. A season ago he reached the 20-point mark in just eight of his 59 regular season games.
In the first quarter Marc also dished out this ridiculous assist on an outlet pass to Mike Conley:
3) This Was an Unbelievable Effort
Earlier in the season we were joking about how the Grizzlies will never blow out a team. Now it seems like they do it every single game. Memphis was in total control from about halfway through the second quarter onward, and it's not like it came against a slouch of an opponent.
The Blazers were arguably the hottest team in the league entering tonight's game with a 12-3 overall record, 8-1 home record and a league-best nine-game winning streak, and Memphis comfortably dismantled them even after falling behind by 12 points early on. The Grizzlies will inevitably cool off, but at times like this it seems like they could keep winning forever.
The Non-Marc Gasol Stat Line of the Game
Mike Conley logged 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists while shooting 8-17 from the field. Oh yeah, and he only turned the ball over once. Mike Conley, y'all.