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Quick Recap: Rockets Top Grizzlies 117-111, Memphis Loses Fourth Straight

Memphis rallied from a nine-point deficit with 3:55 remaining, but was unable to come out on top in overtime.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets dominated the rebounding battle as the Grizzlies fell short in overtime after Vince Carter's 4th quarter heroics kept Memphis alive, and the Grizz dropped their fourth straight game and saw their record fall to 21-8 on the season. Tony Allen made his return in the loss, while Zach Randolph remained out with a knee injury.

Here are my three takeaways from the loss:

1) The Quincy Pondexter Game Half

Pondexter hasn't scored in double figures since November 28th when he had 10 against Portland, and his playing time has been more sporadic than any player on the team with the possible exception of Tayshaun Prince. Dave Joerger gave Pondexter some run in the first quarter and Quincy made the most out of it, hustling for rebounds and netting a quick 11 points in 12 first half minutes.

He cooled off considerably and wasn't quite as active in the second half as he finished with 14 points on 5-10 from the field. Pondexter also threw down this slam in the second quarter:

2) Marc Gasol > Dwight Howard

The following is a list of all of the shots the Grizzlies took in the first four minutes of the third quarter:

  • 11:26 — Marc Gasol makes 16-foot jumper
  • 10:53 — Marc Gasol makes 20-foot jumper
  • 10:41 — Courtney Lee misses 14-foot jumper
  • 10:14 — Tony Allen misses layup
  • 9:42 — Mike Conley misses 22-foot jumper
  • 9:18 — Marc Gasol makes 18-foot jumper
  • 8:45 — Tony  Allen makes layup
  • 8:15 — Donatas Motiejunas blocks Mike Conley's shot
  • 8:12 — Marc Gasol makes 15-foot jumper
  • 7:50 — Marc Gasol makes 25-foot three-point jumper(!!!)
Despite Marc being hotter than the sun throughout this stretch, Dwight Howard continually left him open and paid the price for it. In addition to the third quarter jumpers, Marc got Howard in foul trouble early on in the first half, keeping Dwight's minutes to a minimum. Dwight struggled all throughout the contest, and finished with a disappointing stat line of 6 points and 11 rebounds on just 1-4 shooting.

Meanwhile, Gasol led Memphis with 29 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists on 12-21 from the field.

Dwight Howard vs. Marc Gasol has been a debate in the NBA's best center discussion for years, and Marc won this round convincingly.

3) Josh Smith's Houston Debut

Smith signed with the Rockets earlier in the week after being waived by the Detroit Pistons, and pitched in 21 points on 21 shots off the bench in his Houston debut. His size gave the Grizzlies some fits, and at times Joerger matched up with a small lineup that put Tayshaun Prince at power forward in an attempt to contain him defensively. Living up to his reputation, Smith was effective when attacking the basket, but not so much away from the rim (he even air balled one of his two three-point attempts).

Smith inexplicably took the most shots (including several in clutch situations down the stretch) on a team that features the NBA's leading scorer. If you're Memphis you'll take that every time, but Mike Conley and several other Grizzlies had off shooting nights of their own, so the Rockets were able to get away with Smith's high volume shooting and come away with the victory.