The Grizzlies made a trip up north to face the Toronto Raptors for the first time this season. Dave Joerger finally had Lance Stephenson tonight along with Chris Anderson and P.J. Hairston. Lance made an immediate impact on the game and had 16 points on the night. He looked very solid in his debut. P.J. Hairston got some court time (16 minutes) as well but only had 2 points. In the first quarter, Zach Randolph got off to a quick start offensively, and Vince Carter had an impressive first half with 13 points at the break. He led all players in scoring at halftime. To end the first quarter, Cory Joseph made a buzzer beater three to put the Raptors up two. Memphis found themselves down double digits by as many as 12 during the second quarter but managed to cut the deficit to 3 (46-43) by halftime thanks to three Vince Carter free throws. Tony Allen sat out tonight with a sore left knee, so Dave Joerger was even more short handed. Therefore, Memphis ran fairly simplistic plays most of the night since the new guys were still getting adjusted, but Stephenson looked like he was already getting used to his role and played with a lot of confidence and should bring some much needed scoring to this team.
With Gasol being out, the Grizzlies interior defense was definitely lacking, and they allowed the Raptors to grab 9 offensive rebounds. In the third quarter, things remained tight as the Grizzlies kept the game within a couple of possessions but couldn't grab the lead. With less than 5 minutes to go in the quarter, Kyle Lowry drained a three to put Toronto up by 8. The Grizzlies found themselves down 10 going into the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies were shooting 38% from the field going into the fourth. Mike Conley really struggled tonight and was only 2-11 from the field, but Mario Chalmers had 17 points himself. In the end the Grizzlies' interior defense and not being able to convert in the paint really hurt them. For the Raptors, Kyle Lowry had 18 points, and DeMar DeRozan had 19. Down the stretch, Memphis cut the deficit to 6 with less than 2:30 left, and Vince Carter split a pair of free throws to cut it to 5. Memphis' offense then went stagnant in the last couple of minutes, and a three by Cory Joseph put the Raptors back up 10 to seal up the game. The Grizzlies fought hard all night, but it just wasn't enough to grab the road win. As a team, Memphis shot 36.8% from the field, while the Raptors shot 40.7%.
Memphis doesn't play again until Wednesday when they'll face the Los Angeles Lakers in FedExForum.