The Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder entered this game short-handed. The Grizzlies were without Ja Morant, Kyle Anderson, and Ziaire Williams, and the Thunder were missing Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, and Derrick Favors.
Through that, we were going to see both Taylor Jenkins and Mark Daigneault get creative with their lineups to come away with a victory without their star floor generals.
The Grizzlies came out with a maintained sense of urgency. They swarmed defensively, and they were led through the period with some nice inside work from Jaren Jackson Jr. With the shorthanded lineups, Santi Aldama and Xavier Tillman were in the rotation tonight. Aldama, in particular, wowed everyone with scoring possessions on 3 straight trips. He even threw in a poster dunk for good measure.
The Grizzlies really blitzed the Thunder with a dominant offensive showing in the 2nd quarter, as they tallied 41 points in the period. Leading the way was De’Anthony Melton, who scored 12 points in the quarter — including a monster poster dunk over a sea of Thunder defenders.
Memphis closed the half with a 72-36 lead, as they had a great defensive attack — led by Jaren Jackson Jr.’s 4-stock half — and blistering offensive efficiency (61.7% from the field and 61.5% from 3).
The offensive onslaught continue in the second half, as Jaren Jackson hit 4 three-pointers, and Dillon Brooks found his groove inside the arc. OKC couldn’t do anything offensively either. If you want a good vibe check for the 3rd quarter, the Grizzlies put in their Konchar-Culver-Santi-Tillie-Tillman lineup with 2 and a half minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
The 4th quarter was a vibe: 3-pointers galore, alley oops, Jarrett Culver going coast-to-coast. A JOHN KONCHAR POSTER DUNK! It was a true delight to watch these guys get some run in the final 15 minutes of the game.
- Don’t take Jaren Jackson Jr. for granted. Jackson was brilliant, and he really looked in a whole other tier tonight. He found his groove from deep, attacked the basket with force, and was menacing on defense. Hell of an opportunity for him.
- Poor, OKC... Man, I know the agenda, but you got to feel for these players in the process too.
- Getting to watch the Konchar-Culver-Santi-Tillie-Tillman lineup ball out was so much fun. That’s it. That was fun.
Tune in Saturday, as the Grizzlies travel to Dallas to take on the Mavericks.