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Report Card: Marc Gasol clinches win against San Antonio 104-103

Don’t look now, but the Memphis Grizzlies are atop the Western Conference after a win against the Spurs.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

What a crazy ending in San Antonio! The Grizzlies pull off yet another win Wednesday night against the Spurs 104-103. After a DeMar DeRozan fall away jump shot, the Spurs took a two-point lead with 1.2 seconds remaining. Rudy Gay then inexplicably fouled Marc Gasol on the inbound pass clearing the way for his two game-winning free throws with 0.7 seconds left. There may have been a foul on the subsequent Aldridge three-point attempt, but we can just look past that since the refs sure did. Grizzlies win once again.

That is five wins in a row and seven of their last eight. The Grizzlies are rolling playing lock down defense and slowing teams down, so they can play the Grizzlies’ style of basketball. It was much of the same against the Spurs holding them to a respectable 103 points. Memphis lead much of this game and had a lead as high as 10, but as we have always seen between these two teams, it was always going to be a battle to the very end. This one did not disappoint giving us lots to be thankful for with this Grizzlies team.

Now, to team grades.

Mike Conley- A+

Conley stepped up in a major way once again for this team. He had 30 points on 11-23 shooting, 3-7 from three. 15 of those points came in the fourth quarter. Conley understands he has to be the offensive spark plug for this team. He did it all this game adding 9 assists and also, and most importantly, did not have any turnovers as well. He was affecting all facets of the game and is finally making people take note at the type of performance he is putting together. Somehow he is still forgotten about, but if Memphis continues at this trajectory, he is bound to turn some heads.

Garrett Temple- B

Another night where Temple just could not find his shot. He played 32 minutes scoring 4 points going 2-7 from the field. He may not be contributing to the box score as he was at the beginning of the year, but he is positively impacting the game. Last night, he had the second-best +/- of the team at +8. He adds length to this already long lineup which makes it tough for opposing teams to create offensive chances. Defense does not really show up in the box score, but that is the impact to the floor that Temple brings each night.

Kyle Anderson- B+

Speaking of defense, Kyle Anderson made his San Antonio return after signing with the Grizzlies this off-season. He was well received by the fan base in pre-game introductions which surely impacted his 9 points in 38 minutes shooting 4-4 from the field and hitting his only attempted three-pointer on the night. It was a big relief for him to have a solid offense night for him while also adding 9 rebounds as well.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Jaren Jackson Jr.- B-

The Grizzlies 12-5 start definitely does not happen without Jaren Jackson Jr. He affects both ends of the court like an experienced player in the league. Last night, he once again got caught up by his bad habit of collecting early fouls. This limited his minutes to only 12, but Bickerstaff finally stuck with him through the close of the game even with the five fouls. It was questionable before when he would take JJJ out and sit him even with five fouls in crunch time. He ended his night with 9 points and only one rebound but went 2-2 from three. That range could be interesting if he can pull out defenders.

Marc Gasol- A

Another great game by Marc Gasol as he sinks the two game-winning free throws with ice running through his veins. He finished the game with 20 points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes which is an impressive double-double with a front court with LaMarcus Aldridge normally having the upper hand. Gasol once again stepped up when it matters and played beautifully next to his main man Mike Conley. This duo has been incredible this season, and it is why the Grizzlies sit atop of the Western Conference.

The Bench- B

Two double digit performances off the bench from JaMychal Green and Omri Casspi scoring 12 and 11 respectively. Their contributions were much needed in a close game as Casspi shot 5-6 from the field showing signs of life after being injured or irrelevant over these past few weeks. Even as he may not love the role, the bench role fits best for JaMychal backing up either Jackson or Gasol holding down the block in their absence.

Shelvin Mack and Wayne Selden had abysmal shooting nights without hitting one shot from the field in the 19 and 18 minutes played. It was a tough night which we haven’t seen much of from Mack this season. MarShon Brooks added 6 points on 3-6 shooting in 12 minutes as well.

After this great win, the Grizzlies look to keep things going on the right track continuing their road trip to Los Angeles. Be careful with this one as it is the classic day game in Los Angeles after an off day, even if that day is Thanksgiving. No telling what these guys get up to. Grizzlies vs. Clippers is on Friday, November 23th at 2:30 CST.

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