The Memphis Grizzlies returned to FedExForum to take on the Charlotte Hornets following a tough loss to the Denver Nuggets Saturday night. Could the Grizzlies snatch one game of the back-to-back, or would the Hornets snap their own four game losing streak?
Kyle Anderson would take the spot of Jae Crowder in the starting lineup due to Crowder’s injury, and Anderson wouldn’t shy away to start the game. Anderson opened the Grizzlies up to a 13-5 lead over the Hornets forcing a Charlotte timeout with 7:13 remaining first quarter.
The Grizzlies pace would pickup as the NBA’s best bench unit (since 12/18) would trickle onto the floor. De’Anthony Melton, Brandon Clarke, Tyus Jones, and Grayson Allen all would force the Hornets to run. Also it’s important to note that Jaren Jackson Jr. wouldn’t score in the first quarter, but he provided a great rim presence for the Grizzlies defense.
The Grizzlies would hold the Hornets 30 percent shooting in the first quarter, along with 14 percent three point shooting. Memphis would take a 31-20 lead into the second quarter at FedExForum.
END OF 1ST— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) December 30, 2019
Clarke - 7 points
Anderson - 6 points, 4 rebounds
DB - 5 points pic.twitter.com/fyKxufCTx5
The Grizzlies would enter the second quarter and simply play with more pace and space. While the Hornets simply couldn’t find a rhythm on the offensive end. For Memphis, the key was breaking the Hornets 2-3 zone.
The Grizzlies let the Hornets turn the second quarter into a half court game towards the end of it. Memphis would lose the second quarter 26-25 and would lead the Hornets 56-46 at the halftime break. Despite a late rally by the Hornets to cut the Grizzlies 21 point lead to 10, the Grizzlies held Charlotte to 34% shooting and 14% shooting from deep.
The Grizzlies were just the better team in the third quarter. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Hornets were bad, but that the Grizzlies just maintained their double-digit lead throughout the majority of the third.
Keeping a Charlotte team that thrives on the three ball at 28% for three quarters, Memphis answered numerous Charlotte runs that brought the Hornets within five at time. The Grizzlies just maintained really well in the third quarter in all aspects. Memphis held the edge in the third quarter by just one, but still held a 86-75 lead over the Hornets heading into the final frame at FedExForum. Memphis was shooting 47.8% from the field.
What is the record hovering over Dillon Brooks head? Oh, that’s right, the Grizzlies are 7-0 when Brooks scores 20 points or more. Brooks hit the 20 point mark with a beautiful spin move into a fadeaway jump shot to put the Grizzlies up 105-91 and it seemed the Grizzlies would move to 8-0 on the season when Brooks hits the 20 point mark.
To top that Jaren Jackson Jr., did all of the ‘little things’ at a high level throughout the game. Racking up his second double-double with three minutes remaining in the game. Jaren had a career high 11 rebounds along with 12 points.
The Grizzlies would hand the Hornets their fifth straight loss by a score of 117-104, and will finish the month of December at 8-8.
The Grizzlies look to start the New Year with a dub on Thursday night in Sacramento against the Kings.