The Memphis Grizzlies recovered from a 13-point deficit entering the fourth quarter, and outscored the Portland Trail Blazers 34-15 in the fourth en route to an improbable 98-92 road victory in the Grizzlies' first game back from the All-Star break. Here are my three takeaways from the win:
1) Grizzlies Basketball is Back... and was Somewhat Rusty
The Grizzlies built up a 9-5 lead quickly out of the gates, but then the rust from the long All-Star break began to show. Both teams shot poorly throughout the first quarter with the Blazers coming out on top 21-19, then Portland found their groove in the second period. The Blazers opened the quarter on a short 5-0 run and ultimately built the lead up to 11 before Memphis came roaring back with a 13-0 run to regain the lead and tie up the game at 38 at the half.
Memphis shot only 40 percent in the first half, and 1-5 from three-point range, with the one make coming from Courtney Lee.
2) Steve Blake Went Nuclear
No, really. That wasn't a joke. 34-year-old Steve Blake, who is averaging 4.4 points per game on 36 percent from the field, and 33 percent from three, went insane tonight. And most of it wasn't due to poor defense either. I have no explanation for this.
Blake finished 4-5 from the field and a perfect 4-4 from behind the arc while tallying 13 points, and he was one of a few Blazers to have unexpectedly big nights. Nicolas Batum has shot only 27 percent from three this season but nailed three shots from deep tonight. Meyers Leonard and Dorrell Wright added 11 and 9 points, respectively.
These performances covered up a poor night from starting shooting guard Wesley Matthews, who totaled only four points while missing all four of his shots from the field, and All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge missed the game with an injury.
On a barely related note, did you ever know that Meyers Leonard has an entire secret life as the sixth member of One Direction?
3) Jeff Green Yams it on a Geico Caveman
See title. R.I.P. Robin Lopez.
BONUS POSTER: Tony Allen Clutch Jam