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Report Card: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

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Defense is the order of the day as the Grizzlies beat the Thunder 85-74

Memphis Grizzlies Report Card

Grizzlies 85 - 74 Thunder

Coach Dave Joerger:

Grade: A

HCDJ is really proving himself to be one of the better coaches in the league this season. I would say the best decision made by the Grizzlies front office last summer was ensuring Dave Joerger stayed with the team. Last night Joerger sent his team out with the orders being to stop the Thunder in the paint and force them into mid-range jump shots, the Grizzlies executed the plan to perfection as many of OKC's shots were mid-range jumpers and many of them missed. Joerger went with Randolph and Gasol for the whole ot the 3rd quarter as between  them they were destroying OKC. He utilised the bench to full effect once again and did a fantastic job managing Mike Conley's minutes on his return to action.

Mike Conley: 28 MINS | 10 PTS | 4-12 FG | 3 ASTS | 2 REBS | -1

Grade: B

Mike had a steady game for the Grizzlies after missing the last 2 games through injury. All of his 10 points game in the first quarter of the game with the first 2 coming as he grabbed an offensive rebound and finished with a right handed floater, the next time he touched the ball on the offensive end he drained a three pointer. It was a case of deja vu for Mike's next 5 points as he grabbed an offensive rebound and finished with the right handed floater then drained his second three pointer on the next offensive play.Conley did a great job on defense, forcing Russell Westbrook to take many mid-range jumpers by refusing to let him drive to the basket.

Courtney Lee: 27 MINS | 10 PTS | 3-7 FG | 1 AST | 2 REBS | 2 STLS | +3

Grade: B

CLee did exactly what he needed to do in this game; stick with his man on defense and help the offense by scoring a few points. Lee did a good job on the defensive end last night. We knew that nearly every OKC offensive possession was going to go through either Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook, therefore Courtney had to stick with his man at all times so that KD or RW didn't have the open man to find on the perimeter, he did a great job all night of sticking by his man all night. CLee also drained 1 of his 3 three point attempts.

Jeff Green:  34MINS | 8 PTS | 4-12 FG | 2 ASTS | 2 REBS | 1 BLK | -1

Grade: B+

Jeff didn't have the best of nights scoring, hitting just 4-12 from the field, including going 0-4 from behind the arc. But we can forgive Jeff for that as he had a great night on the defensive end guarding Kevin Durant. Along with Tony Allen the two combined to hold KD to 15 points on 5-16 shooting from the field. Green harassed Durant every time he touched the ball and got right up in his face every time he took a shot, and even blocked one of them in the 3rd quarter. The Grizzlies managed to get inside Durant's head once again. Green also had the huge dunk in the 2nd quarter that the injured Vince Carter would praise as he sat at the announcers table.

Zach Randolph: 36 MINS | 21 PTS | 8-20 FG | 18 REBS | 3 ASTS | 1BLK | +13

Grade: A+

28th double double for the season, 12 consecutive double doubles, 18 straight double digit rebounding performances for the Grizzlies All Star Zach Randolph. Early in the game ZBo twice went straight at Steven Adams, both possessions would lead to buckets for Zach, I was looking forward to seeing Zach destroy Adams. unfortunately he picked up 2 quick fouls and left the game and didn't see much playing time (22 mins). Zach didn't have his best shooting performance in the first half (2-8 FG), though he almost had his double double having grabbed 10 boards to go with his 7 points by half time. Randolph came out after the break and had a monster 3rd quarter, scoring 14 points in 12 minutes, losing his headband as he completed a great  fastbreak by getting fouled on the layup after some great passing from Conley and Gasol.

Marc Gasol: 32 MINS | 15 PTS | 5-14 FG | 12 REBS | 5 ASTS | 2 STLS | 1 BLK | +11

Grade: B+

Gasol's scoring numbers have dropped a little in January, mainly due to the form of Randolph since his return from injury. Zach has once again become the Grizzlies number one option over the last few games, which has seen Marc's assist numbers rise as he's averaged 4.88 assists over his last 9 games. Marc couldn't get anything to fall in the first half last night, hitting just 1-6 from the field, with the lone field goal being a big dunk from Conley's assist. Gasol came out after the half and had a great 3rd quarter alongside his brother from another mother, finishing the quarter with 7 points and 3 assists.

Bench

Tony Allen: 25 MINS | 8 PTS | 2-5 FG | 2 ASTS | 5 REBS | 3 STLS | +13

Grade: A

Tony was the catalyst for the Grizzlies great defensive effort last night. Kevin Durant had made his first two shots of the game before Dave Joerger sent Allen into the game. He went on to force KD's first miss of the game then stole the ball as OKC looked for a pass to Durant, he was fouled on the resulting layup attempt and hit 1 of the 2 free throws. Memphis started the 3rd quarter by hitting none of their first six field goal attempts before Joerger threw Tony back in the game. Shortly after coming in TA finished the behind the head layup when he couldn't see the basket, he assisted Kosta Koufos who hit the open layup, stole the ball from OKC before feeding ZBo down low who got to the charity stripe and made both. Allen finished a great few minutes of play by running the floor and finishing with the finger roll. OKC finished the game with 17 turnovers, many of which were caused by Tony Allen.

Beno Udrih: 18 MINS | 2 PTS | 1-4 FG | 4 ASTS | 3 REBS | +13

Grade: B-

Beno couldn't get his mid-range game going last night, hitting just 1-4 from the field. He had an impressive 4 assists and 0 turnovers in 18 minutes of action. Udrih has also stepped his defensive game up a notch over the last few weeks and last night was no different as he played an important part in helping hold the Thunder to 74 points.

Kosta Koufos: 14 MINS | 4 PTS | 2-7 FG | 7 REBS | +1

Grade: C+

Kosta struggled shooting the ball again last night. But as usual he had another great night on the boards, grabbing 7 in just 14 minutes. My favourite play from KK last night was when he got called for the offensive foul for pushing Kevin Durant down with his hand right in his face as he attempted the layup.

Jon Leuer: 11 MINS | 6 PTS | 3-7 FG | 3 REBS | -2

Grade: B-

Leuer did a great job last night, coming into the game and hitting 2 early buckets and getting a block on Perkins. Jonny Badger has seen his minutes increase over the last few games and has took advantage of this with some solid performances.

Nick Calathes: 9 MINS | 4PTS | 2-4 FG | 2 ASTS | 2 STLS | 1 BLK | + 6

Grade: Ineligible

Calathes had a fantastic 9 minutes, stuffing his stat sheet in all categories. Both his steals came in the 4th quarter as OKC turned the ball over possession after possession. Nick is really starting to take advantage of any minutes he gets now, which will only increase following Vince Carter's injury.

Jordan Adams: 1 MIN | -1

Grade: Ineligible

Nothing to report here. Hopefully Jordan will see his minutes increase whilst VC is out.

Tyrus Thomas: DNP CD