The Grizzlies started Matt Barnes, Zach Randolph, Chris Andersen, Tony Allen, and Jordan Farmar. Marc Gasol was in the building tonight watching from a suite.
This one felt familiar in a good way. Zach Randolph led the offense with 27 points and 10 rebounds on the game. Tony Allen led a great defensive effort, holding Jimmy Butler to just two buckets and collecting 4 steals, peaking at +15 in the plus/minus column. Lance Stephenson was a DNP-CD, and while I can appreciate Lance's intermittent explosiveness, his absence leads to better ball movement and more fluid bench play. Xavier Munford, JaMychal Green, and Vince Carter all made a big impact as a result.
After holding Chicago to just 21 first quarter points (the their best defensive 1Q since early March), Memphis earned a 10-point halftime lead on the back of 18 points by Z-Bo and solid all-around defense. The third quarter has been a sand trap for these Grizzlies in their six game losing streak, but they came out aggressive and rode a 13-4 run to a 20-point lead fueled by threes by Barnes, Munford and Carter. Despite a slow start to the fourth (2-9 from the field) and letting Chicago back within 11, they were able to salt it away with help from Farmar, who had a quiet 15 points on the night.
Zach Randolph led all scorers with 27, and Vince Carter added 17 off the bench and finished at +22.
Sideline reporters all around the league broke out their gaudiest outfits in honor of Craig Sager. Rob Fischer probably already owned this jacket: