The Memphis Grizzlies, coming off of a tough loss on Friday night to the Phoenix Suns at FedExForum, had an opportunity to bounce back against the 1-12 New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night. Memphis would have to ramp up their defense, as the Pelicans were looking to win their first home game of the 2021-22 season.
The Memphis Grizzlies defensive absence trickled into the start of Saturday night’s show down with the New Orleans Pelicans. Memphis allowed New Orleans to shoot 80% from three-point land in the first quarter, and also allowed another 30 point quarter. The Grizzlies trailed the Pelicans 35-22 at the end of one.
No matter the combination of five guys Head Coach Taylor Jenkins threw out there for the Grizzlies, the defense was just lacking in all phases. Effort wasn’t there, energy wasn’t there, and the Pelicans took full advantage of that. New Orleans didn’t look like a 1-12 team as they shot 60% from deep, 56% from the field as a whole. The Grizzlies trailed the Pelicans 62-44 at the half in New Orleans. Ja Morant led the Grizzlies at the break with 10 points.
The Grizzlies trailed New Orleans by as much as 22. With about four minutes remaining in the third quarter, Memphis started to breakout of their slump on both ends of the floor. Trailing by 22, Memphis cut the Pelicans lead down to single digits in the final two minutes. Memphis outscored the Pelicans 28-21 in the third quarter, which had them trailing New Orleans 83-72 at the of three.
The Grizzlies defensive intensity picked up as they cut the lead down to nine towards the middle of the fourth quarter. However, Brandon Ingram and the Pelicans were just streaking at that point, and couldn’t miss. Memphis would fall below .500 on the regular season as they would lose in New Orleans by a score of 112-101.
Dillon Brooks - 23 points, 5 rebounds in 30 minutes
Ja Morant - 22 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds in 37 minutes
Steven Adams - 15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists in 36 minutes.
The Grizzlies will be back in action on Monday night as they return toi FedEx Forum to take on the Houston Rockets.
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