The Memphis Grizzlies returned home for a 3-game home stead within the Thanksgiving holiday. They were looking to build some consistency and start a winning streak, after a big-time road win over the Utah Jazz. The Toronto Raptors were up next, and I — for one — am always pumped for the Jaren Jackson JR. and Pascal Siakam battles.
The Grizzlies got off to a better start than they have been recently, as the game was a little more back and forth to start. Jackson started out aggressive inside early, including a thunderous slam to kick off the game. The Grizzlies rattled off a strong run in the middle of the 1st quarter, punctunated with a Ja Morant slam (with a business decision from Chris Boucher) and big buckets from Desmond Bane. The Raptors ended the quarter with a half-court buzzer-beater from Scottie Barnes to cut the Grizzlies lead to 32-25.
The Grizzlies opened the quarter with great inside play from Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson. It’s so good to see those two balling out after the seasons they had last year. There was even a post-up from Jackson on Siakam that about sent me to heaven. The Raptors cut the lead to 4 mid-way through the 2nd quarter, thanks to their defensive pressure causing turnovers.
The Raptors started out the quarter with a quick 7-0 run, and Toronto further outperformed them to tie the game. There was a little fun sequence of two possessions where Ja Morant iso’d Scottie Barnes and scored both times — with Morant pointing over to Barnes after 1 of those buckets. The quarter remained very even, as the Grizzlies entered the 4th quarter with a 92-91 lead.
While Precious Achiuwa was the role player killing the Grizzlies in the 3rd quarter, it was Gary Trent that demolished the Grizzlies in the 4th quarter. The Raptors went hot, and the Grizzlies went cold. The Raptors built a lead up to 11 with 3:30 left in the 4th quarter.
- Jaren Jackson Jr.’s offense game is picking up the pace... as long as his fouls keep him on the floor. Jaren Jackson showed off the full arsenal tonight — 3-point shots, creation off the dribble, and post-ups. He looked like a difference maker that Toronto had no match for, even with guys like Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes, and Precious Achiuwa in the fold. The answer for stopping Jaren though was the fouling. It was another tough whistle for Jaren, but he also made a big difference when he was on the floor.
- Brandon Clarke is back, ladies and gentlemen. After a big breakout game against Minnesota a few weeks back, Brandon Clarke reemerged from the rotation. He’s strung together some solid performances, but this one was one of his best. He was showing his spring and touch from his rookie season.
- Responding. The Grizzlies got hit in the mouth in the second half, and it looked like they just didn’t respond too well with it. It’s been a pattern this season. Just an observation.
- Death by role players... a Grizzlies tradition. That’s it.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving from the GBB team, and we’ll be back on Friday as the Grizzlies take on the Atlanta Hawks.