The Wizards came in to tonight coming off three wins in a row, trying to make it four. The Grizzlies were back at home for the first time in the new year and have actually won three of their last six. Andrew Harrison was a late scratch and did not play because of a shoulder injury, but even so the Grizzlies were looking for another win in the new year.
The first quarter started with Tyreke Evans running the point and missing his first three shots, but the Grizzlies were able to hold the Wizards to just 2 for their first nine attempts. The defense to start was pretty good by the Grizzlies, holding the Wizards to only four makes over halfway through the first quarter. Marc was playing great defense on Martin Gortat. The Memphis Grizzlies also hit two of their first three three point shots to give them a two point lead.
After the first timeout, Marc Gasol hit another three to go for two for two from three in the first quarter and leading the team early with 8 points. They let John Wall get into the game however, and he hit a few three’s of his own to give the Washington Wizards a three point lead. The Grizzlies did not close the quarter well, they had bad turnovers that led to Wizards points and did not play good defense at all.
When there was no Marc Gasol or Tyreke Evans, they really struggled to score. The Wizards went on a run to extend the lead to nine to end the first quarter.
Tyreke Evans came back to the court to start the second quarter after going to the locker room in the first quarter and made an immediate impact. The first few minutes were really slow with only eight points being scored by both teams in the first four minutes of the second quarter.
The Grizzlies were able to get their offense together behind Tyreke Evans and go on a run to get the lead down to three. Unfortunately they could not play any defense against the Wizards and let the lead get back to seven pretty much within just a few minutes. They could not stop Bradley Beal or John Wall, which lead to the Wizards keeping and even extending the lead at some points before halftime. The Grizzlies kept turning the ball over, especially in really bad spots, leading to easy points for the Wizards. At halftime, the Washington Wizards lead by eight points.
The Grizzlies picked up where they left off before halftime, struggling to score the basketball. The only real offense was still Tyreke Evans, who scored five of their eight points in the third quarter. They did however, play better defense against the Wizards, limiting their offense.
It only got worse though, Bradley Beal and John Wall dropped in eleven of the Wizards seventeen points in the third quarter, stretching the lead out fourteen points. The Grizzlies just could not stay with both of them on defense and when they were both in the game at the same time, they could not sustain the offensive runs by the Washington Wizards. Mario Chalmers hit a three and actually had a pretty good night up to this point. Marc Gasol got involved in the offense with a huge drive and dunk, and was generally calling for the basketball each possession.
They were able to get the lead down to nine points, but Bradley Beal hit another three. The Grizzlies were all over the place on defense, not in a good way, and the Wizards extended the lead to fifteen points at the end of the third quarter.
The Grizzlies started the fourth quarter with the same lineup that ended the fourth quarter, and it did not go well. Ben McLemore entered the game and took three shots in three minutes, missing every one of them. The defense did get a little better, but the Washington bench unit is not very good at all nonetheless, the Grizzlies were able to cut the lead to eleven. Marc Gasol came back into the game after the timeout but was unable to really make an impact on the game.
Ben McLemore was now 2 for 5 in just seven minutes, but they were able to get the game within nine points. The Grizzlies cut the lead to just three points behind a three point shot from JaMychal Green. After the Wizards only scored one point at the free throw line, Tyreke Evans hit another three bringing the game within one point. Bradley Beal hit two free throws to bring the lead back to three, and with 12 seconds left, Tyreke Evans missed the three pointer to tie the ball game. Even though the Grizzlies were able to cut the lead to single digits, lack of defense against the Wizards starters, poor basketball decisions, and the inability to score without Tyreke Evans on the floor lead to another loss. The Washington Wizards beat the Grizzlies on wrestling night 102-100.