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Report Card: Memphis Grizzlies bounce back against the Warriors

Friday took an L, but last night they bounced back!

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Golden State Warriors v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies were looking to bounce back from Friday’s lethargic loss to the Golden State Warriors, while also regaining playoff position after that 2-game swing.

No team really pulled away at any moment of the game. The Grizzlies would have some nice stretches, then the Warriors — really Jordan Poole or anyone from the bench mob — would respond with an offensive surge. Then, strong 4th quarter play led to the Grizzlies closing out the Warriors for the win.

Now, on to grades!

The A’s

Golden State Warriors v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Desmond Bane: 15 points (6-10 shooting, 2-3 from 3), 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 rebounds, 24 minutes, +/- of -10 (Grade: A)

Bane’s +/- hurt during the 2nd quarter onslaught from the Warriors, but he was massive for them in the 4th quarter. He had a massive 4-possession stretch in the 4th quarter that helped the Grizzlies take the lead.

He knocked down a triple, made two big assists — one for a Brandon Clarke and-1, and another for a De’Anthony Melton triple — and then a mid-range bucket.

In that stretch, and in this game, Bane flashed the upside that was so fascinating about him coming into the league. While his prominence is as knockdown shooter, he can also make big plays off the dribble for himself and for others. He just makes winning plays, and he showed that last night.

Golden State Warriors v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Jonas Valanciunas: 19 points (5-10 shooting, 1-2 from 3, 8-10 from the line), 15 rebounds, 2 blocks, 27 minutes, +/- of +17 (Grade: A)

Jonas Valanciunas found his mojo with the double-double. He did a great job of capitalizing on his opportunities, which were few and far between because of Draymond Green’s defensive presence and the Warriors blitzed. However, he stayed aggressive by drawing fouls for free throw opportunities, and he made them pay with his outside shooting.

His impact was felt even larger defensively. Last game, he was exposed in drop coverage, but his intensity and activity were a lot better in this one. He corralled 12 defensive rebounds, spearheading the 14-rebound advantage. He was also a rock defensively by stifling Green, who only finished with 4 shot attempts, 3 assists, and a +/- of -27 (a game-low).

Valanciunas also made timely blocks in crunch time, in what was arguably his best two-way performance of the season.

Golden State Warriors v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Brandon Clarke: 16 points (7-9 shooting), 6 rebounds, 22 minutes +/- of -4 (Grade: A)

Man...Brandon Clarke at the 5!

Clarke has continued to thrive at the 5, as he has the space to be a roller and diver — his bread and butter offensively. He also does a good job of swarming the perimeter in pick-and-roll situations as well defensively.

Clarke was the BC we saw throughout his rookie season. He has a knack of getting himself to the right place at the right time and converting on shots around the rim, regardless of the traffic. Coach Jenkins may have found something with his latest rotation tweak.

Other Grades

  • Dillon Brooks (B): Brooks finished with a team-high +/- of +22. Though his shot was off and he was in foul trouble, he made timely assists and helped force Andrew Wiggins into a tough shooting night.
  • Ja Morant (B): Ja’s shot wasn’t on, but he stayed aggressive and helped a lot with the little things. He played strong defense on Kelly Oubre, and his putback was huge.
  • Kyle Anderson (B+): Back to the Kyle we saw before the All-Star break! Anderson flashed his playmaking and 3-level scoring prowess, and he had his hand in on the glass on the boards.
  • Grayson Allen (B): Allen didn’t get going offensively, but his hustle was fantastic. He had a career-high 8 rebounds, while also having 3 steals (including the massive steal and slam in the 4th quarter).
  • De’Anthony Melton (C+): Melton was plagued with foul trouble in this game, but his straightaway 3 in the 4th quarter was massive.
  • Tyus Jones (C): It just felt like Tyus Jones was just there in this one, finishing with 2 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals in 13 minutes.
  • Justise Winslow (C): Winslow struggled offensively, but it was nice to see him remain aggressive on both sides of the ball.

Tune in tomorrow, as the Grizzlies close their 4-game home-stand against the Boston Celtics.

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