The first quarter ended with a 23-21 lead for the Grizzlies. In a game in which Wayne Selden Jr. got his first start, both teams were acting a bit sloppy with turnovers. But the Grizzlies played great defense, contesting shots and denying Anthony Davis a hot start.
In the second quarter the Grizzlies continued that staunch defense. The Pelicans didn’t score their first points in the frame until the 7:33 mark when DeMarcus Cousins drained a 3. The Pelicans made a lot of mistakes on the offensive end and they were facing a double digit deficit throughout the quarter. The Grizzlies’ lead at halftime was cut to single digits by the end of the quarter and they headed into the locker room with a 41-34 advantage
The first half was filled with turnovers on both hands. Not just bad passes, but also a lot of traveling calls and offensive fouls. Neither team got into a rhythm at halftime with all the stoppages. The Grizzlies only shot 42% in the half while the Pelicans shot a paltry 28%.
The second half started with a comeback by the Pelicans. The once 12 point lead evaporated once Demarcus Cousins hit a 3 to make the score 48-46 New Orleans with 7:40 left in the 3rd. This is where it became the DeMarcus Cousins show. For as sloppy the 2nd quarter was for the Pelicans, that was the 3rd quarter for the Grizzlies. Giving up their halftime lead because of poor execution and dumb turnovers, the Pelicans started the 3rd on a 23-5 run. The Pelicans finally led at the end of a quarter, 66-54 with one more to go.
In the 4th quarter, the Grizzlies picked up the pace and cut the 12 point lead to just 4 before the first timeout. But DeMarcus Cousins is still DeMarcus Cousins, and he overpowered the Grizzlies in the 4th despite playing 5 fouls for most of the period. Cousins dominated the Grizzlies in a way that’s rarely seen. He finished with 41 points and 17 rebounds. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph combined for 14 points and 18 rebounds.
Overall a low-scoring affair with a discouraging blown 2nd quarter lead. Once the Pelicans got the lead they never looked back after a healthy dose of Boogie Cousins.
The next game on the schedule is a Thursday road game visiting the San Antonio Spurs.