Although Monday night’s loss in San Antonio was disheartening, Coach David Fizdale’s viral press conference after the game gave a rallying cry to Memphis fans and players. Now, the Grizzlies were down 2-0 coming into tonight’s match, and they were finally playing in front of their home crowd. Fizdale decided to change up the starting lineup, inserting Zach Randolph alongside James Ennis to hopefully give Memphis a boost.
In the first quarter, the Grizzlies jumped out a 8-5 lead thanks to a Mike Conley three pointer. However, the Spurs went on a run and regained the lead, 16-10. The Grizzlies made sure to keep the game tight and not let San Antonio run off. At the end of the first, the Grizzlies had tied things up at 21, and the Spurs were shooting 35.3% from the field.
During the second quarter, Zach Randolph took over. He went into full bully ball mode, and the Spurs couldn’t stop him. With just over 5 minutes left in the half, the Grizzlies were up 36-35. The game was tied down the stretch, but Memphis took the lead going into the third, 50-46. For the Spurs, Patty Mills had a strong first half with 8 points, and Kawhi Leonard had 16. Memphis was led by Randolph and Marc Gasol, who had 11 points.
In the third quarter, Randolph continued his rampage. The Grizzlies didn’t let up on the gas and their momentum carried into the third as they jumped out to a 14 point lead with less than 6 minutes left. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge kept the Spurs alive and didn’t let the quarter get too out of hand until toward the end of the quarter, in which Memphis expanded the lead to as many as 18. After having strong performances in game 1 and 2, Tony Parker for the Spurs was extremely silent tonight with 0 points in 18 minutes of play.
It was crucial that Memphis didn’t let the Spurs creep back into this one in the fourth quarter. Fortunately, the Grizzlies didn’t give San Antonio much hope. The Grizzlies soon went up by 20, and they never let the Spurs get within single digits. At one point, Gasol, Conley, and Randolph each had 21 points in the middle of the final period. One of the biggest keys to Memphis’ surge was paint points, as they led in this category 44-32 on the night. After a discouraging first couple of games of the series, Memphis gave their fans something to cheer about tonight as they cruised by San Antonio, 105-94.
For the Grizzlies, Zach Randolph ended up with 21 points and 8 rebounds. In addition, Mike Conley had 24 points, and Marc Gasol had 21. Off the bench, JaMychal Green had 8 points and 6 rebounds.
For San Antonio, Kawhi Leonard led the way with 18 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Tonight was a breath of fresh air after the past couple games, and now the Grizzlies have some momentum. Now, Memphis has a day off before facing the Spurs again in the FedExForum on Saturday and will look to tie up the series 2-2.