Needless to say, Memphis won this match-up 101-88, lead by Mike Conley’s 31 points.
The Knicks were absolutely lacking in talent in this game. Losing your two best players will hurt, but the Knicks’ roster is already a lottery team WITH Melo and Anthony. Without them, it was even worse. The Knicks shot .432/.214/.462 shooting splits compared to the Grizzlies’ .507/.552/.833 splits.
This game started with a hot start from Mike Conley, hitting 3 of his 7 3-pointers in the first 5 minutes. He had 14 points the period along with a steal in the frame where the Grizzlies outscored the Knicks 27-21.
In the 2nd quarter, the talent advantage showed itself for the Grizzlies. The Knicks played their already weakened role players while the Grizzlies played their regular bench. New York’s reserves played with effort and intensity still and kept the game close with smart high-percentage shots, but Memphis still had the lead at halftime 53-47.
In the 3rd period, that talent advantage was lost as the Grizzlies came out lifeless. The Knicks cut the lead to just 3 at the 7:00 mark, a scary sight considering the available talent. Maybe the Grizzlies thought they could coast because of it because the Knicks were playing well, eventually taking the lead into the 4th, 72-70, outscoring the Grizzlies 25-17 in the frame
The 4th quarter was a lot better for Memphis. They were firing when the Knicks’ role players regressed to the mean. The Knicks couldn't keep up as Memphis won the quarter by almost doubling up 31-16. The Grizzlies won by a final score of 101-88.
The Grizzlies (43-37) host the Detroit Pistons (36-43) on Sunday.