The New Orleans Pelicans came into the FedExForum having won two of their last three games, looking to get another win against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies beat them the last time they came to town, but both teams look very different than they did on opening night. Anthony Davis, Tony Allen, Alexis Ajinca, Solomon Hill, and Frank Jackson were all ruled out for tonight’s game for the Pelicans because of injury. The Grizzlies only sat Chandler Parsons and Mike Conley, and this was a great chance for them to get another win on the season against a banged up Pelicans team.
The first quarter started with a back door cut by Tyreke Evans and Andrew Harrison getting the ball going to the basket for the first points. The Pelicans came back with a three pointer by Demarcus Cousins, three offensive rebounds on the next possession, and another three pointer followed by a quick timeout by the Grizzlies. Throughout the first quarter, the Grizzlies were getting a lot of good looks, but missing some of those open shots. Tyreke Evans was playing out of his mind as usual, putting in six points in six minutes. Marc Gasol also went 4-4 from the field for nine points in just seven minutes. They still struggled with defense, allowing the Pelicans to shoot 4-9 from three with just over two minutes left in the first quarter and grab a nine point lead early. Brandan Wright came in for Deyonta Davis after just playing two minutes of game action. The Grizzlies committed nine fouls in the first quarter and were down nine points at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter started very slow for each team, scoring seven total points combined for both teams in the first three minutes of the quarter. Tyreke was the only offense for the Grizzlies to start scoring six of the first 8 points. The Pelicans were getting really good open looks for three but they could not make any of them, allowing the Grizzlies to pull back within two points. After getting the ball out in transition a little more in the second quarter, they were able to tie the game midway through the second quarter. Andrew Harrison knocked down a three from the top of the key to give the Grizzlies the lead. They were playing better on defense and holding Demarcus Cousins to just 1-6 from the field. The Grizzlies kept scoring the ball well, but let up on the defensive end letting the Pelicans keep pace with them. The Pelicans led by one at halftime even after a really good second quarter from the Grizzlies.
The third quarter picked up with Tyreke Evans still scoring at lightning speed with six points in four minutes. JaMychal Green was everywhere the first part of the third scoring, rebounding, getting steals, doing everything that you want him to do. The offense was less Tyreke Evans and more Marc Gasol finding cutters going to the basket at the elbow. All of that gave the Grizzlies a five point lead after just four minutes of game action. The offense that was so great in the second quarter, was nowhere to be found in the latter half of the third. They had the lead up to eight points midway through quarter, but with just over two minutes left, the Pelicans had cut the lead to just three. Mario Chalmers was having one of his worst quarters with some really bad shots and even worse decisions. Both teams played really bad basketball in the third quarter, but the Grizzlies were able to keep a seven point lead going into the final quarter.
The Grizzlies started the fourth with a Marc Gasol made basket pushing the lead to nine points. The Pelicans made a few three pointers to stay within eight points after the few minutes. Demarcus Cousins, who had been quiet through the night, hit back to back three pointers to get the Pelicans within five points. The Grizzlies offense went off the rails mid way through the fourth quarter, and it was tough for them to score. The Pelicans got some calls on the offensive end and then a wide open Demarcus Cousins hit a three to tie the ball game with just over five minutes left. The Grizzlies and the Pelicans traded buckets late in the fourth quarter. Marc Gasol hit two huge buckets to put them up by three and then Tyreke hit a open three to put them up by four. Demarcus Cousins came back with a three of his own to get back within one. With under a minute left, the Pelicans played really good defense against the Grizzlies to get a chance to win the game with 15.2 seconds left. After the timeout Demarcus Cousins drove to the basket but got stripped and Tyreke Evans stole the ball. He hit two free throws to seal the game for the Grizzlies and they won their 13th game of the year.