There were only three games left in the season for the Memphis Grizzlies, but they were determined to give a focused final effort in front of their home crowd Sunday afternoon against the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons’ playoff hopes have been all but dashed, and the Grizzlies’ are just finishing up the tail end of the grand tankathon. Losing Sunday probably wouldn’t make much of a difference for Memphis considering the Suns are likely losing their remaining games.
So while the stakes of the game were relatively low for both teams, the Grizzlies wanted to end their home stand on a good note.
In the first quarter, Ben McLemore came out and scored 11 points in the first. Memphis got going offensively, while the Pistons lagged behind. The Grizzlies shot 55% in the first, while the Pistons shot an abysmal 28% from the field. Memphis cranked it up to the next level and jumped out to a 8 point lead at the end of the first, 30-22.
The rookie Deyonta Davis opened up the second quarter with a bucket, and that was a good indicator of things to come for the Grizzlies. In the second, Memphis got up to its largest lead of the night and led 51-32 with 7:30 left in the period. While young guys like Dillon Brooks had a solid first half, veteran Marc Gasol only had 5 points and was 2-8 from the field in the half.
The Pistons regained some speed, though, and the Grizzlies allowed things to get within reach for Detroit. The Pistons’ shooting climbed up to 40%, while the Grizzlies’ sunk to 54.8% by the half. Memphis led 62-56 going into the third.
For Detroit, Andre Drummond was quiet offensively, and this was in large part thanks to Marc Gasol’s defense. But him containing Drummond didn’t stop the Pistons from catching up. Memphis led by only 3 with 8:20 left in the third, but thankfully Memphis regained their footing and players like Marshon Brooks entered the game and made a positive offensive impact and had another explosive showing with 25 points total, including 4 threes.
The Pistons partially stayed in the game thanks to shooting a barrage of threes. On the night, Detroit was 23-47 from beyond the arc.
Marc Gasol picked up the pace on the offensive end as the second half rolled on and the Pistons tried to regain the lead. He ended up with a near triple-double: 20 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists.
Down the stretch in the fourth, the Grizzlies heated up offensively again and dominated in the points in the paint department. Memphis had 52 points in the paint to Detroit’s 26.
Just as things seemed to be over for the Pistons, a Luke Kennard three pointer cut Memphis’ lead to 7 with 2:35 left in the game. However, another bucket by Marshon Brooks and a Dillon Brooks three right after extended the lead, and Memphis ran away with this one, 130-117. It was a season-high scoring performance for the Grizzlies on the last home game of the season.
For Detroit, Anthony Tolliver led the way with 19 points, and their point guard Reggie Jackson had 13. Luke Kennard had 18 and was 4-4 from three. Rookie Dillon Brooks had 22 points for Memphis, and Kobi Simmons had 20 as well.
This win dashed any hopes of moving up any more in the draft, but losing probably would have ended up with the same result. Today’s win was for the fans, who have endured a horrendous season. Now, two more road games, and this nightmare of a season will be finished.