On a night where both of the team’s cornerstones just really didn’t have it, the Memphis Grizzlies found help from several unlikely sources as they gutted out a thrilling 107-103 win against the New Orleans Pelicans on the road in the Smoothie King Center.
The first half of the game looked more like an AAU basketball game than an NBA as the Pelicans, who came into the game 3rd in the league in pace, turned the game into a track meet. The Pelicans led 60-58 at the half as the Grizzlies made Julius Randle, who admittedly has played like an all-star this year, look like prime Shaquille O’Neal with a jump shot. Anthony Davis added 19 points of his own.
However, the biggest reason the Grizzlies stayed in the game was new addition Joakim Noah, who was incredible the entire night. He had 9 points (including 2 blocks!!!), 5 rebounds, and 2 assists in the first half, giving the Grizzlies an energy boost that they desperately needed. He would finish with 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.
The Grizzlies were able to enforce their pace on the game in the second half and began to take control of the game. Kyle Anderson was a huge reason why as he had his best night of the season. He had 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists, and was superb defensively as well, tallying 3 steals and 3 blocks.
JaMychal Green also picked up the scoring load on a night where Mike Conley shot 2-12 and Gasol was generally quiet. Green had 24 points and 8 rebounds and was instrumental in defending Randle in the 4th quarter.
The Grizzlies’ next game will be at FedexForum against the Los Angeles Lakers tomorrow night.