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Memphis Grizzlies lose to Toronto Raptors 122-114

One of the most frustrating losses since....well, Sunday

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

For most of this season, the Memphis Grizzlies’ greatest strength has been their defense. But against the Toronto Raptors, their greatest strength became a debilitating weakness.

The Memphis Grizzlies lost 122-114 to the Toronto Raptors in a game that in which there was no grit or grind inside the Grindhouse. Toronto shot 61% from the field and 55% from three. They made 18 threes.

While there are certainly exceptions, you are usually not going to win a basketball game when you allow your opponent to shoot this incredibly well.

What makes it all the more frustrating is that the Grizzlies had one of their best offensive nights of the season. Through incredibly hot shooting of their own, they jumped out to a 71-59 halftime lead. A 5-0 spurt to begin the second half would give them a 17-point lead.

However, the fact that Memphis was playing so well offensively ended up playing into their demise. The pace of the game greatly favored the Raptors, and playing in shootouts is certainly not the Grizzlies’ style of play. The Raptors continued to chip away at the Grizzlies lead until they finally took it off a Kyle Lowry layup with just over six minutes remaining. The Raptors would never look back after that, as the Raptors would add four more threes in the final half of the quarter.

Another trend is beginning to present itself through this three-game losing streak—blowing leads. The Grizzlies blew an eight-point lead against the Clippers, a 13-point lead against the Knicks, and a 17-point lead tonight. Offenses may be more explosive than ever before in the NBA, but this is just simply inexcusable from a team of mostly veterans.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Both of the Raptors’ stars were impeccable. Lowry finished 24 points on five threes, but considering how crucial some of them were, it felt like more. Kawhi Leonard scored only 17 points due to excellent defense from Kyle Anderson, but he sealed the game with a three with less than a minute remaining.

Marc Gasol was once again at the top of his game, coming just two points short of his season high with 27. However, he suffered an ankle injury near the end of the 4th quarter which is highly concerning even though he stayed in the game. He also played 39 minutes, which is putting far too much wear and tear on his body.

The Grizzlies will travel to Brooklyn to play the Nets on Friday.

Follow @sbnGrizzlies