“Big Spain” just dropped the mic on his All-Star campaign.
Marc Gasol carried the Grizzlies to a big win over the Raptors, as he scored 42 points and grabbed 7 boards en route to a 101-99 win.
This was a significant win for the Grizzlies, even though the Raptors were without DeMar DeRozan, as they picked up a W over the second-best team in the Eastern Conference.
This one was not without its bumps, though. Memphis had a double-digit lead late in the fourth quarter and nearly let it slip away. But a win is a win, and this one should be enjoyed.
What a night it was for Gasol.
He absolutely feasted on Jonas Valanciunas and the entire Raptors frontcourt in a masterful display.
On the way to his 42 points, the big man was 14-of-25 from the floor, including 5-for-10 from downtown, and just generally could not be stopped.
This also helped create opportunities for longtime frontcourt partner Zach Randolph, who had a terrific game in his own right. Z-Bo had 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists on 7-of-10 shooting in one of his better performances of the year.
Patrick Patterson and Valanciunas had no answers at all for the duo that has carried the Memphis franchise for so many years. Gasol and Randolph played off of each other so well in this game, scoring from both inside and out. They also held the Raptors’ starting bigs to a combined 9 points.
It was a vintage night for the Grizzlies, as they imposed their size on a team that just had no answer for it.
It’s a good thing that Gasol and Randolph played so well, because you can’t say that about too many other guys for the Grizzlies in this game.
Mike Conley was thoroughly dominated in the point guard match-up by Kyle Lowry. Conley had only 11 points, on 4-of-16 shooting, with 5 assists. That’s rough. But it’s even more rough when you look at Lowry’s performance.
Lowry had himself a game. He tallied 29 points, on 11-of-21 shooting, with 8 assists and 4 rebounds. He both locked up and torched Conley on the respective ends of the floor.
Most of the role players were non-factors for the Grizzlies. James Ennis had 6 points, Vince Carter had 7, and Deyonta Davis and Andrew Harrison each had 2 points.
But Tony Allen provided a bright spot on the offensive end. “The Grindfather” scored 15 points on 50% shooting and also grabbed 11 boards. Allen provided that third-option spark that the team sorely needs, and that no one else could provide, on this night.
The Grizzlies did play good defense, though, for the most part. They held one of the best offenses in the league to 42% shooting, 29% from three, and only 99 points. That is a good night.
For Toronto, they got 21 points from Norman Powell, who started in place of DeRozan, and 15 points off of the bench from Cory Joseph.
This was a much-needed win for the Grizz, who had lost 4 of their last 6 coming into this contest.
Now sitting at 27-20, the team is set to travel to Portland to take on the Blazers on Friday night. This is a trap game on the road against a team that can put up some points, which is a weak point for the Grizzlies.
That being said, they are soft in the middle and should have issues with Gasol. We will also get to see a great point guard match-up between Conley and Damian Lillard. This should be a fun game.
But for now, we can relish in the beauty of Gasol’s amazing performance. Give this man an All-Star berth.