This Magic-Grizzlies game was important for both clubs. The Grizzlies are still trying to deal with the loss of Conley as well as the embarrassing loss to the Raptors the previous night. The Magic were reeling with a 4 game losing streak until snapping it with a surprising victory over the Spurs at the AT&T center. For the Magic, Jodie Meeks is out with a long term recurrent foot injury. For the Grizzlies, Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons, Vince Carter, and Brandan Wright are out with an assortment of injuries, and Zach Randolph is out for personal reasons.
The Magic had lost 10 of 11 to Memphis, with their last win coming in 2008. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies were 4-0 on the second night of a back to back.
Andrew Harrison, Troy Williams, Tony Allen, Jamychal Green, and Marc Gasol were the starters for the Grizzlies tonight. D.J. Augustin, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Serge Ibaka, and Bismack Biyombo were the starters for the Magic. Both teams came out scoring at a steady clip. The Grizzlies and Magic both ended up shooting 54.5% from the field, while the Grizzlies had an edge in three point shooting (60% to 57%).
The Grizzlies built as much as an 8 point lead, but the Magic crept back up, and at the end of the quarter the lead was only 2 point for the Grizz, 30-28. Fournier was the high scorer for the Magic with 12, Troy Daniels for the Grizzlies with 8.
Troy Daniels continued his offensive onslaught, nailing a couple of tough jumpers and keeping the Grizzly offense humming. However about halfway through the quarter, both teams seemed to forget how to put the ball in the basket. A highlight of the quarter was a breakaway slam from Troy Williams from an over the back pass from Gasol.
The Magic stayed close (or the Grizzlies didn’t pull away) and parlayed a key 7-0 run to keep the game within reach. The second quarter was ugly, as both teams have matched their respective offenses in a sluggish quarter. However the Grizzlies continued to hold a one point lead heading into the half.
By halftime the game had already gone through 9 ties and 3 lead changes, with the longest run being a 10-0 run. The second quarter killed those high field goal marks, with the Magic shooting 46% from the field and the Grizzlies shooting 43%. The Grizzlies did shoot a better percentage from three (40% to 36% ) and from the charity stripe (85% to 69%).
Marc Gasol (4-7 FG) and Troy Daniels (4-6 FG) led the Grizzlies with 10 apiece, while the Magic’s Evan Fournier used a red hot first half (7-7 from field, 2-2 from three) to lead the half high with 17. Jarell Martin had a team high 5 rebounds for the Grizzlies; Bismack Biyombo had 7 for the Magic. Lastly, Andrew Harrison had 4 assists for the Grizzlies, Fournier had 3 for the Magic.
The Magic started to pull away behind the continued strong play of Fournier. However the Grizzlies battled back behind the still-hot hand of Troy Daniels, who kept hitting tough jump shots. Overall the third quarter was personified by tight D, sloppy turnovers, and missed jumpers.
Oh, and a big Jarell Martin J -that came after the buzzer sounded to end the third. Any mirage of a good offensive game disappeared for good during the third quarter. The Magic did sneak up and take the 3 point lead to head into the 4th 68-65.
The 4th quarter continued to be very slow with miscues and missed shots. As improbable as it seems, the Magic leaned on JEFF GREEN to supply their offense and build their lead. And in an ironic yet oddly poetic fashion, Green started to deliver. Yes, former Grizzly Jeff Green. Yes, THE Jeff Green who haf been shooting 26% over his last 3 games. The lead ballooned to as much as 11.
The Grizzlies attempted to cut into the lead, but Jeff Green was feeling it. The Grizzlies switched defenders, Green hit a tough fall-away and-1. Gasol in particular was frustrated with the lack of calls he felt he had in his favor on the offensive end. However the Grizzlies, behind Tony Allen and a clutch Gasol 3, slowed down, forced timely turnovers, and trimmed the lead to 4 with 4 minutes to go. The Magic committed 5 turnovers in the first 9 minutes of the quarter.
The Magic became flustered and started losing their composure, arguing calls and missing shots. An Andrew Harrison drive capped off a 13-0 run for the Grizzlies. The final 3 minutes were a nip and tuck affair. Fournier hit a 3, Gasol answered with an and-1. Fournier had a drive, then Harrison hit a step back jumper. With 47 seconds left, JaMychal Green hit a clutch 3 to bring the Grizzlies within 1. With 15 seconds left, Marc got fouled, went to the line, and knocked down both freebies to get the one point lead. The Grizzlies then used a tough defensive possession to win the game.
Points: Marc Gasol (25) Troy Daniels (19)
Rebounds: Jarell Martin (10) JaMychal Green (7)
Assists: Andrew Harrison (8) two others tied (3)
Points: Evan Fournier 28 (11-14 FG) Nikola Vucevic (18)
Rebounds: Bismack Biyombo (14) Nikola Vucevic (11)
Assists: Elfrid Payton (5) Evan Fournier (4)
The Magic play the 76ers tomorrow. Your Memphis Grizzlies play the Lakers at home on Saturday. Until then Grizz fans, keep Grinding.