The Memphis Grizzlies had a rematch with the Dallas Mavericks, just 4 days after their showdown in the Lone Star State. This time though, the Mavericks brought company that wasn’t presented Saturday night with them, as Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis returned to the lineup.
The Grizzlies unfortunately did not extend their streak of never trailing, as the Mavericks took a 3-2 lead after a Porzingis and-1. Jaren Jackson Jr. got going by attacking downhill early in the game. Dillon Brooks got into early foul trouble, picking up 2 fouls in less than 3 minutes — less than ideal when going up against an All-NBA talent like Luka Doncic. The quarter was back and forth the whole time, as the lead never got larger than 3.
Taylor Jenkins returned to a 10-man rotation with De’Anthony Melton, John Konchar, Santi Aldama, Xavier Tillman, and Killian Tillie made appearances in the first quarter. They survived those minutes, and that’s fantastic to see. The Grizzlies closed the quarter down 26-25.
The Grizzlies opened the 2nd quarter with a big run spearheaded by Jackson and Brooks. Both players were able to really get downhill whenever they wanted. Brooks also had this AND-1 style move that he pulled out of his bag.
The Grizzlies grew a lead as big as 12, but a surge from Jalen Brunson and Luka trimmed it down to 4 before the horn.
When the second half started, the Mavericks reminded everyone of the upside of a Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis duo — manipulating the defense and releasing a perimeter onslaught. There were some suspect calls in the 3rd quarter, especially the sequence where they called Adams for a foul on a lob, and then Melton on a reaching call. It was so bad that we got a “ref, you suck” chant — might be the first one of the season.
The 4th quarter started tough for the Grizzlies offensively, as they only scored 4 points in the first 5 minutes, while only 1 of them was a field goal. Jackson again stayed in attack mode and made some big hustle plays on the glass to generate extra possessions for Memphis. The Grizzlies couldn’t get anything going due to an offensive dry-spell and poor officiating. The Mavericks expanded the lead and came away with a 104-96 win.
The winning streak is over.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. in attack mode. A common complaint for Jackson’s critics was his shot portfolio favoring a lot of 3’s and less shots in the paint. Taylor Jenkins acknowledged his growth inside the arc, and Jackson backed him up with an assertive downhill attack — 12 two-point attempts and 8 free throw attempts. A positive development going forward.
- Desmond Bane couldn’t get going. After consecutive 20-point games, Bane couldn’t find the bottom of the net often, shooting 5-15 from the field. Dallas probably took his comments personally. Bane will be find.
- The Grizzlies missed the injured rotation players. Obviously, Ja Morant was missed. They needed another player that could attack downhill and generate advantages offensively. Off the bench, they could’ve used Brandon Clarke’s energy on both sides of the ball, especially with the Moses Brown matchup. In addition, extra secondary playmaking and some outside shooting from Kyle Anderson would’ve been cool too. Same could go for Ziaire Williams. Wishing good recovery for those injured.
- Killian Tillie was solid. Tillie saw a spot open up for him with the long injury list, and he capitalized on it. He made very good plays within the team’s defensive schemes (3 stocks!), and he made timely 3’s. He garnered the 2nd-most minutes off the bench behind De’Anthony Melton, and he showed a lot of cool stuff to monitor either here or with the Hustle.