A big fourth quarter on both ends of the floor helps the Grizzlies push their win streak to 3. If you count the game in which Ja Morant was injured, the Grizzlies have a winning record since the budding superstar went down. On top of that, they are now tied for the 10th spot in the West, which this year would get them into a play-in.
All of that is the result of a huge turnaround in the 4th quarter. The Grizzlies trailed by ten going into the final frame. But when the clock hit zeroes, the Grizz walked away with a 118-107 win. In the fourth, it was all about team ball – 12 of their 15 FGs were on assists. They also held the Timberwolves to 20% shooting from the field.
Now, it’s time to hand out some grades for Wednesday’s win in Minnesota
Dillon Brooks – 28 minutes, 4-15 shooting from the field, 9 points, 6 assists
Heading into the fourth quarter, I had already planned on using this space for the Grizzlies starting backcourt. Up to that point, it had been a bad night for DB and Tyus Jones. I tweeted out in the fourth, after Dillon missed his eighth straight shot that he just didn’t look comfortable tonight. He was rushing his shot and making mistakes.
Right after that, playmaker Dillon took over. He knocked down his next two shots. DB recorded 3 of his 6 assists in the fourth (would have been 4 if not for a Valanciunas offensive foul.) This is the type of player the Grizzlies need Brooks to be while Ja and Jaren are out; if the shots aren’t falling, get the rest of the guys involved and get the W.
Jonas Valanciunas – 30 minutes, 11-19 shooting from the field, 24 points, 16 rebounds
The JV that’s been MIA for parts of the young season finally showed up tonight. The Grizzlies set a franchise single-game record for points in the paint with 80; 24 of those came from JV. In the first half, we saw the Jonas that we’ve seen for most of the year – engaged at times, struggling at other times, and missing easy bunnies that should be automatic.
The beast inside JV woke up when the second half started. He was active on both the offensive and defensive ends, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 boards, 5 on the offensive glass. He also imposed his will and held his own against two-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns.
Brandon Clarke – 34 minutes, 9-15 shooting from the field, 19 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals.
I wasn’t sure who to include as the third Grizzly in this spot – BC or Grayson Allen. Both had great games and kept the Grizzlies in it in the first half. But, I had to give this to Clarke, as he filled the stat sheet and did the little things that are so very important on the court.
He was forcing turnovers, helping on defense, and finishing at the rim, as evident by his 14 points in the paint. Early in the season, there was some concern voiced about BC’s game on social media. This performance should silence those critics.
For three quarters, Grizzlies fans watched ugly basketball, but the fourth quarter was something beautiful to behold. It’s quite possible that if the Grizzlies were playing any other team in the league besides the T-Wolves, then they wouldn’t have been able to hang around until they woke up in the fourth. There were a few other good performances tonight from the Grizz that weren’t highlighted, the aforementioned Grayson Allen, and the apparently now backup center Xavier Tillman (12 pts, 5 rebounds in 18 minutes.)
The Grizzlies will need to continue to get team efforts if they want the winning streak to continue, which it just might, as their next game is this same Timberwolves team on Friday.