The Memphis Grizzlies aimed to reach the .500 mark at 2-2 after dropping their first two outings of the season. They faced off against a top-tier Celtics team in Beantown. Here’s a quarter-by-quarter analysis of what took place:
First Quarter: Jaylen Brown is a star in the making, and he put together a wonderful opening frame. Brown notched eight points and made his first three shot attempts within the first six minutes of the quarter. Additionally, the Celtics are one of the league’s best when it comes to defending the three-pointer - they made their presence felt beyond the arc. As a result, the Grizzlies converted just one of their eight attempts from deep. Memphis couldn’t find much rhythm offensively, and the first quarter ended with the team trailing by a dozen, 31-19.
Bad passes leading to turnovers & shots not falling are the story of the game for the Grizzlies right now as they trail by 12 after 1 in Boston— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) December 31, 2020
Boston’s two youthful stars, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, continued to pour on the points - they further extended the Celtics lead in the second. The C’s went on a 17-0 run midway through the second quarter to increase their lead to a staggering 27 points. Jaylen Brown built upon his strong first quarter with an even better performance in the second, totalling 26 points in the first half on a sizzling 10-for-15 shooting, including 6-for-8 from behind the three-point line. The lone offensive bright spot for Memphis was Jonas Valanciunas, who tallied nine points and knocked down three of his four field-goals. Boston held a 26-point halftime lead, 66-40.
Third Quarter: Memphis’ scoring woes in the first half carried over into the third quarter. The Grizzlies mustered just five points in as many minutes to begin the period. Boston forced a number of turnovers that resulted in easy open court baskets, which stemmed from careless passes by the Grizzlies. To the credit of Memphis, they continued to play with effort and energy on the defensive end despite the score. But the Grizzlies couldn’t match the offensive firepower of the Celtics - especially without their best player and leader in Ja Morant. Boston held a commanding 96-71 lead with quarter three in the books.
Grizzlies trail by 25 after 3. One more quarter. Let’s go Grizzlies! Let’s go! pic.twitter.com/nVcMK9oVpH— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) December 31, 2020
Fourth Quarter: The Celtics and Grizzlies rolled with their bench units to finish this one out. Carsen Edwards provided the C’s with a late-game spark, scoring nine points in six minutes off the bench during the final frame. Brandon Clarke saw some garbage time action and accumulated a pair of aesthetically-pleasing dunks off of cuts. Not to mention rookie Desmond Bane hit a pair of threes over the final minute and change. The Grizzlies outscored Boston 36-30 in a quarter bereft of noteworthy moments. Boston took home the win by a final score of 126-107.
Memphis’ next chance to improve on their record is Friday, when they are slated to take on the Charlotte Hornets in the Spectrum Center.