The Memphis Grizzlies saw their seven-game win streak evaporate against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. Ja Morant and company aspired to bounce back from a decisive loss in which the Grizzlies defense was uncharacteristically lethargic.
First Quarter: The Grizzlies had problems finding the net to begin this one. In the early going, Memphis relied heavily on one of its chief scoring methods to stay within striking distance — fastbreak scoring. Nine of their points stemmed from open court scores in the first twelve minutes alone. On the other hand, Memphis’ half-court offense was discombobulated and clunky, as evidenced by the team’s seven blunders in the opening frame. But the Grizzlies were able to even the score with Houston at the end of one — both teams had 27 apiece.
Second Quarter: The Grizzlies’ bench unit was torched behind the arc to usher in the second. As such, Houston opened the quarter on a 7-0 spurt to lead by seven. Memphis gradually crept back in the game, though, behind much-needed scoring from Desmond Bane and Tyus Jones, who combined for 15 points in the first half. But after the Grizzlies took a brief one-point lead, Houston dominated the end of the quarter. The Rockets got to the rim at will — a combined effort led by John Wall, who with 13 points performed akin to the Wall of old. Houston bookended the half on a 14-2 run and led by 13, 60-47.
HALFTIME— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) February 5, 2021
Brooks 11 points
Bane 8 points
Jones 7 points, 3 assists
Clarke 6 points
Third Quarter: Eric Gordon, a 13-year veteran and professional scorer, came out of the locker room hotter than fish grease; he nailed consecutive Curry-range threes to balloon the Rockets lead to 19 with nine minutes and change remaining in the period. Conversely, Memphis’ offensive attack lacked any semblance of cohesion or order to begin the second half — the team mustered just two points by the seven-minute mark. The lone bright spot for the Grizzlies in the scoring department? None other than Ja Morant, who scored nine points in the quarter and made a beautiful no-look dish to Brandon Clarke for an and-one. Morant’s production is what kept this game from becoming a full-on blowout, as Houston’s lead resided in the 20s for much of the frame. Still, the Rockets held a comfortable 17-point edge after 36 minutes behind 14 made three-pointers.
End of the 3rd— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) February 5, 2021
Ja - 15 points, 4 assists
Bane - 12 points
Brooks - 11 points, 3 rebounds
Clarke - 9 points, 4 rebounds
Fourth Quarter: Desmond Bane equaled his career-high in points with 16 about four minutes into the final quarter. Bane has now reached double-digits in scoring for six straight contests. The Grizzlies were unable to make headway on the scoreboard, though, as they could not string together stops against this high-octane Houston offense. The reserves of the Rockets continued to pour it on from beyond the arc deep into the fourth. Memphis waved the white flag at the halfway point, which allowed some John Konchar highlights, including a three-pointer and impressive takes to the goal. Houston came away with the victory in a game ultimately decided by the three-point discrepancy, as the Rockets found the bottom on 19 treys compared to Memphis’ 12.
Memphis is now losers of their last two after railing off seven wins in a row. Next up on the Grizzlies’ schedule are the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, a team that has failed to live up to expectations thus far.