After a disappointing loss in Atlanta Monday night, the Memphis Grizzlies looked to bounce back against a division rival, the Houston Rockets, in a preseason showdown. We’ll go ahead and address it now: Chandler Parsons was absent from the starting lineup, with Andrew Harrison starting in his place.
Early on for the Rockets, Clint Capela put on a show offensively and ruled the boards. The Grizzlies had weapons of their own, however, and led 16-11 midway through the quarter. For Memphis, Mario Chalmers came off the bench and made an immediate offensive impact. Who stood out the most for the Grizz in the first half, though, was James Ennis. He had 9 points at the half, and he was 4-5 from the field. Overall, he’s been the best Grizzly role player in the preseason.
In the second quarter, the competition was tight as Memphis led 39-35. Andrew Harrison picked up a decent load of minutes in the first half, and on the night he ended up with 17 points as a starter. At the half, the Grizzlies held on to a 47-44 lead. For Houston, Clint Capela had 11 points and 7 rebounds.
In the third quarter, the Grizzlies fell behind the Rockets as Houston jumped out to a fast start. Gasol’s offense went stagnant after a strong start in the first half, but in the third quarter he picked up the pace and had 12 points on the night. With less than 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Grizzlies trailed by 6, and the Rockets seemed to have gained all the momentum. At the end of the third, the Grizzlies trailed the Rockets, 71-64. Mario Chalmers had 11 points going into the final period for Memphis, but James Harden had 18 to fuel the Rockets going into the last stretch.
In the fourth, the Grizzlies struggled to keep up offensively and fell into a deeper hole early in the quarter. Chandler Parsons continued to be a concern, as he was a non-factor and ended up not even scoring. Predictably, the Rockets scored a lot of threes and took a lot of them to do it. As a team, Houston was 14-46 from beyond the arc. Combined with their hot shooting and the Grizzlies’ lack thereof, the Rockets easily pulled away with this one, and the Grizzlies’ preseason record dropped to 2-2.
For the Rockets, James Harden ended the night with 18 points (including 14-15 from the free throw line), and Clint Capela had 15 points and 8 rebounds. Also, Trevor Ariza was 4-6 from three. For Memphis, Mario Chalmers ended up with 12 points, but Mike Conley was a disappointing 3-10 from the field.
Memphis did a better job from the free throw line tonight, shooting 23-31 as a team. Both teams struggled from the field, as both Houston and Memphis shot under 40%.
Now, the Grizzlies look to finish up the preseason on a high note Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans before facing them again on opening night.
Post Game Quotes:
"It was a measuring stick for us. A lot of the young guys hadn't played against a team like that," -Mike Conley on Houston— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) October 12, 2017
Marc Gasol said from a physical standpoint tonight wasn't his best game. Said he landed on his ankle funny a couple times— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) October 12, 2017
"I just play as hard as I can," -Andrew Harrison on the pressures of making the team.— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) October 12, 2017
"He's very detail-oriented...Also trying to get his feet wet as much as possible," -Coach Fizdale on Dillon Brooks— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) October 12, 2017
"I just see small areas of growth all over," -Coach Fizdale— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) October 12, 2017