With Matt Barnes serving the second game of his suspension (read more about Matt's year from hell here), Tony Allen joined Courtney Lee, Jeff Green, Marc Gasol, and Mike Conley in the starting lineup. Zach Randolph returned to the bench.
Utah was missing Favors, Golbert, Burks, and Exum for this one.
Tony took advantage of his start with a quick 2 steals, 5 points, and 1 assist in the first five minutes, but Utah shot 56% in the first quarter and led it 28-25 after one. The Grizzlies trailed by as many as 10 in the second, thanks in part to poor free throw shooting and a lack of offensive flow, but a quick comeback punctuated by a Conley fast-break three made it a one-point game at halftime.
While the Grizzlies offense stuttered, some began speculating about our injured parties:
What if the Grizzlies haven't said anything about Jordan Adams' knee because they lost it and are too embarrassed to ask for help finding it— Kevin Lipe (@FlyerGrizBlog) January 3, 2016
Memphis might have pulled away in the third quarter but for their atrocious free throw shooting (they finished 14 of 26 on the night). Instead they took a 3-point lead into the fourth quarter with Lee and Allen playing extended minutes and battled throughout the fourth to keep up with the hot shooting of Rodney Hood. After Lee gave the Grizzlies an 84-83 lead with under a minute remaining, Rodney Hood drew a foul and split his free throws to tie the game. Marc Gasol missed an open jumper to send us to overtime.
Neither team could hit the barn in OT. Tied at 87 with under a minute to go, Hood drew yet another clutch foul to give Utah a two point lead. Mike Conley missed a runner, and Courtney Lee missed a game-tying three on the following possession to put this one on ice.
Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 20 points, but Courtney Lee (17 points, 3 steals, 2 rebounds, 2 assists) was valiant in defeat tonight. Rodney Hood – yes, that Rodney Hood – had a career high 32 points and 8 rebounds.
• Grizzlies alum O.J. Mayo was tossed from a game tonight and decided to go after the ref rather than retreat to the locker room. I guess dieting in winter puts you in a bad mood.
• Big Bad Bob Thornton took a Ryan Hollins elbow in pregame and had to leave the game with a swollen eye. Yikes.
• Speaking of Ryan Hollins: