The Grizzlies escaped with the win from Houston after yet another double-digit comeback in the second half. Memphis was down by as many as 16 points and still found a way to rally from behind and get the victory.
After giving up 64 points in the first half, the Grizzlies improved their defense and relied on their bench. Houston scored only 41 points in the second half and the Memphis bench, led by Troy Daniels, Zach Randolph, and James Ennis, outplayed the Rockets like the last time these two teams met.
With the win, Memphis showed once again that they can compete against the best teams in the league. Tony Allen scored a team-high 22 points. James Harden had 27 points and 9 assists for the Rockets.
The @memgrizz are 4-0 against the Warriors and Rockets.— Brett Edgerton (@EditorEdge) January 14, 2017
The rest of the league is 13-65.
Tony Allen: A
22 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal in 24 minutes (+3)
The Grindfather's offensive effort kept the Grizzlies in the game. Allen was 9 of 10 from the field with multiples cuts and drives to the basket. He had 10 points all alone in the third quarter. However, he was in foul trouble all game long and was fouled out with more than three minutes left in regulation.
Troy Daniels: B+
13 points, 3 rebounds in 22 minutes (+15)
Daniels saw more minutes last night and it paid off for the Grizzlies. He was a key part of the Grizzlies' comeback, made 3 of 6 from downtown and scored the dagger. His defense still leaves a bit to be desired, though.
James Ennis: B+
12 points, 6 rebounds in 28 minutes (+7)
Ennis did his job last night and remains a steady option for the Grizzlies on both ends of the floor. He scored a layup after an offensive rebound down the stretch and shut down Harden in the last three and half minutes of the game when Tony Allen was fouled out.
James Ennis is the best free agent signing of the season so far and I'm not sure it's that close.— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) January 14, 2017
Zach Randolph: B+
16 points, 12 rebounds in 23 minutes (+11)
It was a tale of two halves for Z-Bo. He struggled defensively in the first half being abused by the Rockets' pick and roll actions. He bounced back in the second half scoring 14 of 16 points. Randolph punished Houston in the paint and strongly contributed to the Grizzlies' comeback.
Mike Conley: B+
17 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals in 38 minutes (+10)
Conley was a true leader during the Grizzlies' comeback. He gave out timely assists and scored a three pointer down the stretch. He was 7 for 14 from the floor including two made triples. He had five uncharacteristic turnovers, though.
Marc Gasol: B-
14 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists in 34 minutes (-5)
Gasol had a good all-around game. He has not looked for his shot in the last couple of games, but he facilitated instead. The Spaniard only attempted nine shots last night and that does not seem enough if you are the team leader. Give credit to the Rockets' defense that doubled him every time.
JaMychal Green: C
8 points, 4 rebounds in 28 minutes (-8)
Green had a good scoring first half, making all his three tries from the floor. He went unnoticed in the second half and did not have an impact on the boards as he usually does.
Vince Carter: C-
3 points in 21 minutes (+3)
Carter had an discreet game against the Rockets. The veteran was 1 for 3 from the field but was on the floor during the Memphis' run in the third quarter when he contributed on defense.
Chandler Parsons: D+
5 points, 2 steals in 18 minutes (-11)
Parsons looks more aggressive lately and that is a good sign for the Grizzlies. He wants the ball often during his restricted minutes and is being active on defense. His shot was not there yesterday, going 1 for 7 from the floor.
Coach David Fizdale: A-
I wonder what Fizdale's speeches look like at half-time after poor defensive efforts throughout the first two quarters. In any case, he managed once again to fire up his team for the second half and the Grizzlies completed another comeback win against one of the top teams in the NBA.
Memphis tightened things on defense and stopped the Rockets' points in the paint that were hurting the Grizzlies substantially during the first half. The team also attacked the rim constantly, making Houston pay for its lack of size. The Grizzlies, however, had 22 turnovers which is a very high number for a team that always took good care of the ball.
It seems that Fizdale has finally realized that Andrew Harrison is not NBA-ready. The rookie has only played 22 minutes in the last four games where the Grizzlies went 3-1. However, I am still skeptical about the use of Tony Allen as a point guard, especially during the fourth quarter when defenses tend to be tighter.