Well the Grizzlies welcomes San Antonio to Beale Street with an all-out assault to open the first quarter, as they went 15-25 from the field and held The Spurs to only 9-27 from the field and under 20 points for the entire first quarter. Jonas Valanciunas was in absolute beast mode, nearly getting a double-double in the first damn quarter. He seemed to grab everything that didn’t pass the nets & outback most of it. Dillon Brooks definitely unleashed the Mamba Mentality in the opening period, getting his 10 points on 4/5 shooting and several highlight plays — including a monster slam to get the Grind House fully off its feet around the world!
Memphis fell apart just as bad as they took off in the opening period. Memphis allowed the Spurs to come back from down 20+ points to bring the game within two points when Taylor Jenkins finally decided to call timeout. As Jonas goes, so does this team so far this evening.
When the starting unit takes the floor again, they calm things down and turn the game into a battle to close out the half. Jaren gets lucky when the officials call a three free throw shot foul on a foul that was well, before he got in shooting position — and the ball doesn’t lie so Jaren only went two from three. Memphis; own “Friend turned Foe” Rudy Gay was slick the ring leader of this San Antonio comeback, with a quick 9-piece off the bench by halftime and making several veteran clutch plays that would be a better way to use 13 million in salary (winks eye).
The third has been a dog fight. Ja Morant started cooking as he kept attacking to get up to 15 points, five assists, and six rebounds by the end of the period. Big Jonas provided another 20/20 experience plus two blocks by the two minute mark of the period, when he took a well deserved breather.
Tyus nailed a much-needed three pointer that gave Memphis a brief double digit lead — before The Spurs got three free throws on a foul call and Gorgui Dieng breaks Memphians hearts with a long ball that cut even longer. Rudy Gay comes back with a mid-range fade-away that forced Jenkins to call a timeout to get Ja back in the game.
Talk about never wanting to welcome back a former Grizzlies player, well this is one of those nights. Coach Popovich seemed to have strategically put Dieng in to give Jonas fits after he has carried the weight all the game & it’s working at least a little as Dieng makes crucial plays to help get the Spurs their first lead since the game was 0-2 Spurs.
However, Dillon Brooks has different plans as he has been on a tear throughout the final period. Ja gets called for an offensive foul when attacking the basket from a charged set by who?
You guessed it, Gorgui Deing.
Thankfully, Taylor Jenkins made a rare move in challenging the play, which the challenge was deemed successful and Ja gets a chance at two free throws along with their timeout back that was used to challenge the offensive foul call. The same free throw sequence repeats itself in the last 10 seconds of the game, but never the less The Grizzlies win and advance to play the Loser of the Warriors vs Lakers bracket.