The Grizzlies FINALLY got their first win in Orlando after a dominating effort over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Grizzlies were down 18 early as the Thunder shot 5-7 from beyond the arc to start the game, but the team was resilient and came back to defeat the Thunder by nearly 30 points.
It was an all-around great performance from the Grizzlies, who desperately needed a win to keep a hold on the 8th seed in the Western Conference standings.
Here’s how the squad graded out in yesterday's’ win.
Ja Morant: 19 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds, 5-12 from the field (7-7 from the line), +12
Ja Morant played determined on his daughter’s first birthday yesterday. After a slow start to the contest, Ja got aggressive and started attacking the basket which allowed him to get to the free throw line as well as find open teammates for easy looks. Ja took a hard fall late in the first half but was able to come back in and coast in the second half as the Grizzlies built upon their big lead.
Jonas Valanciunas: 19 points, 11 rebounds, 8-11 from the field, +19
JV dominated in the paint against a Stevens Adams-less Thunder team despite foul trouble in the first half. JV took it to Darius Bazley and Nerlens Noel any chance he could and made them pay with a super efficient performance. The first half foul trouble limited Valanciunas to 24 minutes total but he was insanely productive in his time on the court nearly putting in another 20-point, 10-rebound game.
Dillon Brooks: 22 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 10-18 from the field, +8
Good Dillon was back in action yesterday, leading the Grizzlies in scoring against the Thunder. He put it in a pretty solid all-around performance attacking the glass and facilitating more than he typically does. Bad Dillon did show up a little bit, though, as he picked up four fouls with two of them being frustration fouls. Brooks also did a solid job defensively guarding the Chris Paul, Luegentz Dort and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander trio.
The Old Guys (A): One could argue that Anthony Tolliver and Gorgui Dieng saved the Grizzlies season as the big-man duo helped spark the Grizzlies second quarter comeback. Tolliver, earning his first Grizzlies start, put in 8 points and 5 rebounds and complementing the starting lineup nicely. Dieng played his best game in the bubble scoring 12 points and 7 rebounds and this nifty euro-step.
Grayson Allen (B): Allen continued to be the Grizzlies best 3-point threat chipping in 11 points off the bench shooting 3-8 from beyond the arc. With a couple of the misses being forced shots at the end of the shot clock, Allen’s numbers don’t quite tell the story. He didn’t do much besides his scoring, but was still a great spark plug off the bench for the Grizzlies.
Brandon Clarke (B): Clarke continued to be Mr. Efficiency as he scored 12 points on 6-6 shooting from the field while also picking up 8 rebounds. Clarke made a few mental errors giving up some open 3’s in the first half and then a sloppy turnover to allow the Thunder to score 6 points in the final 5 seconds of the first half. Still, Clarke was great off the bench as the Thunder had no answer for him.
De’Anthony Melton (A): Mr. Do Something did just that yesterday getting out of his mini-slump he’s been going through in the bubble. Melton was a team high +29, scoring just 4 points but he picked up 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. He was a menace defensively and looked more like the analytics darling Grizz fans have grown to love this season.
Tune back in as the Grizzlies are set to face off against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday at 1 PM CT.