The Grizzlies came out guns a-blazing, jumping to a quick 14-point lead thanks to 4-4 shooting from Tony Allen, plenty of free throws, and handsy defense. The Grizz notched 35 points on 78% shooting at the end of Q1 - great, right? - but were up only 6 after a weak finish to the quarter. Charlotte carried the momentum into the second, dropping 59 points before halftime and outrunning the Grizzlies bench.
The Grizzlies' naptime seems to have been moved from early afternoon to the start of every third quarter this year, because yet again they came out flat footed and their opponent did not. The Hornets hit 5 threes in the first half of Q3 and the lead ballooned to 19, where it would stay throughout the remainder of the game. Charlotte continued to pour in threes, breaking a Grizzlies record for threes allowed in a half. They finished with 18 made, shooting – wait for it – 48%.
It's worth mentioning that the Grizzlies are no strangers to deep, self-inflicted deficits. But in previous years, the narrative was always: "In the end, they couldn't quite dig themselves out of the hole, but at least they tried." That just doesn't seem to be the case this year. There are two separate problems: sleepy third quarters, and weak-willed fourths. This year, the formula seems to be: win one quarter, and you'll beat the Grizz.
Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 17 points on 5-11 shooting. Matt Barnes hit 3 straight threes in garbage time. Kemba Walker had 33 points and was 5-8 from three.