Overtime exhaustion, jetlag, five games in seven nights, two starters out - it all caught up to the Grizzlies tonight, who now have a 3-game losing streak to ponder over Christmas break.
Still missing Tony Allen (eye) and Zach Randolph (knee), Joerger opted to start Kosta Koufos alongside Marc Gasol rather than Jon Leuer, probably to combat Utah's massive front line of Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Kosta showed good energy early, and Marc led the Grizzlies offense in the first half with 14 points on 6-11 shooting. Jordan Adams got an early call in the second quarter and hit his second NBA three. The Grizzlies outshot the Jazz 46% to 38% in the first half but gave up the final 8 points of the second quarter to cede a 1-point deficit going into the break.
The Grizzlies continued their decent shooting in the second half, but were vulnerable to dribble penetration, and saw yet another 3-point shooting eclat from a team that is usually mid-table from downtown. The energy finally picked up in the fourth quarter, spurred by a Jordan Adams block-and-save that led to a filthy Vince Carter dunk. Pop a Centrum Silver and enjoy:
But it was not to be. The Jazz built a tenuous lead down the stretch and the Grizz were unable to break through - a couple of bricked threes from Courtney Lee in the final 90 seconds (he was 0-7 from distance) and solid free throw shooting by Utah sealed the deal. The Grizzlies were out-rebounded 48-34, and this is why we miss Z-Bo.
Bits and Bobs
- Shout out to another Memphis team, Tiger football, for beating their Utah-based opponent (on the field and off) earlier today for their 10th win of the season.
- The Grizzlies shot just 9 free throws to Utah's 24, but those numbers are slightly skewed from fouling down the stretch.
- We might have a "Paul is Dead" situation with Quincy Pondexter, who is struggling to crack the rotation - he sat behind Jordan Adams tonight. Kevin Lipe is on the case.
So… I’m guessing the Quincy Pondexter on the bench is actually an android and the real Quincy was ejected from the team plane accidentally.— Kevin Lipe (@FlyerGrizBlog) December 23, 2014
- Tayshaun Prince celebrated his 900th career regular season game with 0 points in 24 minutes. Keep on keepin' on.