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Final Score: Grizzlies come up short against Wizards, 83-92

Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 18 points and 11 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as Washington didn't let their early lead slip away.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Tied for the 2 seed in the West, the Memphis Grizzlies needed a win last night to put daylight between themselves and the Rockets once again. What better way to do this than by defeating a Wizards team that had been beaten on their last 9 visits to Memphis? Washington had different ideas though as they started the game hot and refused to give up their 11 point first quarter lead.

Injury Report

Tony Allen missed his fourth straight game with a left hamstring strain.

First Quarter

Mike Conley opened the scoring after getting to the free throw line following a foul by Beal as he attempted the layup. Conley made both free throws, which gave the Grizzlies their only lead of the entire game. John Wall replied with a three pointer for the Wizards who wouldn't give up the lead from here on in.

With 7:59 remaining in the quarter Coach Joerger was forced to call an early timeout with Washington leading 12-8 and getting anything they wanted inside the paint. Memphis came out of the timeout with a nice play which resulted in Courtney Lee hitting a baseline jumper. Good defense followed on the Wizards next play, but Otto Porter hit a long two just before the shot clock expired.

The first quarter finished with Washington leading 29-18 after hitting 12-20 field goal attempts, including 3-4 from behind the three point line. In contrast Memphis were struggling from anywhere outside the paint, connecting on just 2-10 field goals taken from outside the paint. Washington came into the game with a plan - to dare the Grizzlies to take mid-range shots. They did this by going under the screen on almost every possession, but Memphis failed to make them pay throughout the game.

Second Quarter

Memphis started the second quarter with Jeff Green on the floor with a bench lineup of Udrih, Carter, Calathes and Koufos. Going back to the first quarter the Grizzlies had missed 8 field goals in a row before Udrih would drive into the paint and hand it off to Koufos for the dunk +1, he would go on to miss the free throw.

Memphis showed great effort on the defensive end with Washington starting the period by turning the ball over 3 times and missing 6 straight field goal attempts.

Jeff Green attempted a jump shot which he missed but followed up his own miss with the layup to leave the Grizzlies trailing by 7. Courtney Lee missed a three pointer, Vince Carter went up strong for the offensive rebound wich he kicked out to Lee for the deep two. This resulted in a Washington timeout with the Grizzlies having cut the lead to 5.

Once again Washington turned it over out of the timeout, which gave Memphis their 7th stop in succession. Before Jeff Green did this to cut the lead to 3:

Kris Humphries responded with a mid-range jump shot before Udrih hit one of his own to cut the lead to 3 once again. Bradley Beal then hit back-to-back buckets for Washington to push the lead back up to 7 with 6:19 to play in the half.

4:24 remained in the period when Vince Carter hit the Grizzlies first and only 3 pointer of the night (15 attempts). John Wall hit back by hitting a three of his own before leading the fastbreak and making another three point play after getting fouled by Udrih as he laid the ball in.

Fastbreak points were the order of the day for Wasington as they outscored the Grizzlies 15-1 on fastbreak points in the first half.

At the half the Wizards led the game 49-38 with John Wall leading the way with 12 points and 8 assists. Green led the Grizzlies scorers with 7.

Third Quarter

Washington started the quarter by turning the ball over once again. Both teams struggled with turnovers throughout the game - 15 each. The teams then went on to trade buckets until Joerger called timeout with the Wizards up 60-47 following a jump shot by John Wall.

Conley and Gasol would then share the Grizzlies next 8 points with the Wizards only response being a Beal bank shot despite pressure from Courtney Lee. This 8-2 run saw Washington's lead cut to 7 before Porter hit the three point attempt and Sessions claimed the Wizards 19th fastbreak point of the game to push the lead back to 12 with 2:57 left to play.

Washington. were up 71-59 at the end of the third, the lead would have been much bigger were it not for Gasol's 9 points in the quarter. Jeff Green left the game with back spasms and wouldn't return.

Fourth Quarter

Vince Carter opened the fourth quarter scoring after hitting the runner in the lane, once again Washington responded from 3, this time from Sessions. Throughout the final period the Grizzlies struggled to cut into the Wizards lead, they were unable to get the lead below 7 as Washington continued to add fastbreak points and three pointers to keep Memphis at bay.

Final Score

Grizzlies 83 - Wizards 92

Game Notes

  • Washington had 26 fastbreak points in the game. The season high for opponent fastbreak points stands at 28, set by the Golden State Warriors. Memphis had just 5 fastbreak points in the game.
  • Gasol and Conley were the only Grizzlies to score in double digits. Gasol had 18, Conley 14.
  • Zach Randolph attempted just 5 field goals in the game (6 points). This tied ZBo's season low for field goal attempts in a game. Zach also attempted just 5 field goals on December  3rd at Houston.
  • Memphis recorded just 2 steals in the game. They average 8 per game for the season. Get well soon Tony!
  • Jordan Adams had a good few minutes off the bench with 7 points in 13 minutes.

Next up for the Grizzlies

The Grizzlies return to action on Wednesday with a home game against the Pelicans. The Grizzlies go looking for the win as they attempt to tie the season series.