The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 137-121 despite a 30 point night from Andrew Wiggins. The Grizzlies have been a great first half team all season and the story was no different on this night. What was different this game, though, was the third quarter — the Grizz did lose the quarter, but only by 3, keeping the game in reach. Memphis went on to win the final quarter by 11 points leading to a 16 point victory.
Jaren Jackson Jr. returned from his one game absence due to knee soreness but did not really show up. Thankfully he was the only Grizz not to show up as he was the only negative +/- player for Memphis, a game worst -22. But onto the grades.
No not the grade, but the last names.
Jae Crowder, Brandon Clarke and Bruno Caboclo all receive A’s for the night.
Crowder: 18 points, 4-6 from three, 2 steals +13
Clarke: 18 points on 100% shooting, 8 rebounds and a game high +30
Caboclo: 5 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 fouls, +9 in 14 minutes
This is best-case Crowder for the Grizzlies. He will not put up these number consistently but on the nights Memphis gets this from him, they will have an excellent chance to win.
Brandon Clarke has arguably been the most consistent Grizzly so far this season. He only played 22 minutes but fortunately Memphis did not need him to play more minutes.
Caboclo’s numbers do not jump off the page but he continued to earn his playing time. His most impressive stat wasn't the two blocked shots in 14 minutes, but only getting two fouls while guarding Karl-Anthony Towns, who looks like he is twice his size.
Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks were nothing short of spectacular.
Brooks scored 31 points on 5-7 shooting from 3 and 8-8 from the free throw line. He continued his hot shooting from deep and rightfully did not lead the team in shots in this game.
Morant padded his Rookie scoring lead with 26 points but he did have an unattractive 4-3 assist to turnover ratio on the night. The most impressive fact behind his 26 points was the zero attempts from three on the night. He got his points driving, finishing and getting to the line or on mid range shots.
They, too, receive an A.
There is little doubt that the Memphis Grizzlies need Jaren Jackson Jr. to figure it out. Tonight could have been his knee or the matchup against a premier defender in Robert Covington. Nevertheless, it would have been very easy for Jenkins to roll Jaren out in the fourth quarter to close the game — after all he is your second best player.
Jenkins, rather than being strict on his rotations, went with the hot hands to close the game. It was the second straight game Kyle Anderson was in the closing lineup, alongside Ja Morant, Jae Crowder, Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke. All five players were playing great basketball and were very much the right choice and reason Memphis was able to close out the victory.