Many direct their attention away from NBA preseason basketball. Whether it be because of uncertain playing status regarding players, irrelevance of results, or whatever else, it doesn’t grab the attention of the public.
But this game between the Rockets and Grizzlies provided a lot of drama for a game that doesn’t really count.
The two teams combined for 259 points in a game that went to two overtimes. The Grizzlies found a way to win and can take several positives away from this performance.
Mike Conley was terrific in his 24 minutes of play, tallying 19 points, 7 assists, and 3 steals. He also had a plus-minus of +15 during his time on the floor. Fellow regular season starter, JaMychal Green, also had a very nice game. Green finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds on 8/11 shooting, including 2/3 from 3-point range, in 30 minutes of play. Green looked like the perfect physical stretch big that the Grizzlies want him to be as the compliment to Marc Gasol.
But perhaps the brightest star of this game for the Grizzlies was former Indiana Hoosier, Troy Williams. Williams was known for his enigmatic play in his time at Indiana and showed that in this game.
For the most part, Williams played very well. He scored 23 points and registered 4 steals, while shooting 5/11 from 3-point range. Williams buried a clutch 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 107. But at the end of the first overtime, the Grizzlies had a three point lead when Williams fouled Tyler Ennis during a 3-point attempt with seven seconds remaining. Ennis made all three free throws to send the game to a second overtime. But the mistake was bearable, as the Grizz went on to win the game.
Marc Gasol started this game for the Grizzlies and played 20 minutes. He registered 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists, and left the game with an apparent injury. Many fans held their breath as it appeared to be an issue with his right foot, but it was ruled an ankle injury to the relief of many. Not many details were released on the injury but Gasol did return to the bench and later stated that he was fine.
Regarding other notable performances, Zach Randolph played only 14 minutes in this game and scored 8 points. Andrew Harrison was given the start at shooting guard and added 14 points and 6 boards in 25 minutes. DJ Stephens scored 13 points off of the bench and Vince Hunter added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Grizzlies had several players sit out due to injury. They were the same cast of players that were expected to miss in Chandler Parsons, Jordan Adams, Deyonta Davis, Jarrell Martin, Brandan Wright, and Tony Allen. James Ennis was also given the night off.
For Houston, James Harden had an up-and-down night. He was an assist away from a triple-double (14 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists), but also committed 7 turnovers. Montrezl Harrell led the team with 20 points and 10 boards, while Tyler Ennis and Sam Dekker contributed 16 points apiece in the loss.
The Grizzlies will return for their next, and final, preseason game on Wednesday, October 19th against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.