Hey Pop, how many wins is that for the Grizzlies?
Eric Bledsoe tried to sink the Grizzlies single-handedly in the first half, notching 14 in the first quarter (78.5% from the floor) and leading a hot-shooting Phoenix offense throughout the second. The Grizzlies bench held on for dear life and the Grizzlies were happy to be within 6 at halftime.
This game turned on the 3rd quarter, which the Grizz won 30-16 with a strong defensive performance and good wing play by the starters. Memphis thrived on turnovers and transition buckets, more than making up for a jittery half-court offense. The trend continued throughout the fourth as Memphis held Phoenix at arms length all the way down the stretch. Some timely threes by Courtney Lee and Mike Conley and a handful of and-1's in the paint helped seal the deal.
Man of the Match:
Courtney Lee, who announced his return with two threes in the first quarter and played great defense throughout the game. He finished with 22 points on 9-12 shooting (4-5 from three) and a handful of hustle plays that won't show up in the box score.
(Honorable mention: Mike Conley, who appears to be waking up offensively after a slow start to the season. He finished with a game-high 24.)
1. The Grizz forced 18 turnovers and converted most of them into transition baskets. Classic Grizz offense at work.
2. Rebounding was much better this game - the Grizz were +2 on the glass and allowed very few second chance points.
3. The all-bench unit remains problematic. With the exception of Beno Udrih, none of them have the chemistry or confidence to hold, let alone push, a lead. At one point the subs were a combined -47 in the plus-minus column.
4. This was the best the Grizzlies defense has looked yet, and it was against the best offense they've faced so far. And talk about halftime adjustments - after getting torched in the first half, Memphis put the Suns in a cage in the second.