The Memphis Grizzlies found out Saturday afternoon that they would be without point guard Ja Morant for a week or so with a left ankle sprain, adding to the laundry list that is the Grizzlies' injury report that is released prior to each game.
For tonight's matchup with the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn, the Grizzlies would also be without Jaren Jackson Jr. due to load management. Could the short-handed Grizzlies get it done in Brooklyn?
With the Memphis Grizzlies being short-handed on Sunday night, it was obvious that guys were going to need to step up. The easy answer would be Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks who can create off the dribble, while defending on the other end.
Brooks’s game was phenomenal in the first quarter. Brooks was able to get to his spots on the floor, creating chaos on the defensive end. Marching along with Brooks was Steven Adams, who isn’t exactly known for his scoring.
However, Ben Simmons was defending Adams, and Steven took advantage of that in the first quarter. Adams and Brooks combined for 20 of Memphis’ 29 first-quarter points. The Grizzlies led the Nets 29-28 after one quarter.
The second quarter would be the tale of two halves.. of a quarter. At the start of the second quarter, the Nets were able to get to their spots beyond the perimeter. Stretching their lead to as much as seven at one point.
However, following a frustrated Taylor Jenkins timeout around the middle of the second quarter, Memphis returned to normal form. The rookies stepped up during this run with all of them providing huge minutes for the short-handed Grizzlies in that second quarter.
The Grizzlies side-to-side ball movement during their half-court sets opened up guys for open shots. A John Konchar triple from the corner helped Memphis take a 62-57 lead over Brooklyn at the half.
11-3 run to the break. 24 minutes left. pic.twitter.com/QggjchlhHl— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) November 21, 2022
The third quarter was similar to the second quarter in terms of the up and downs, however, Memphis trailed throughout the third quarter. Memphis had done a really good job of slowing down Kevin Durant until the third quarter.
Midway through the third quarter, Durant started forcing his way to his spots on the floor against rookie David Roddy. As you’d expect, Durant won those matchups, resulting in fouls or buckets.
Memphis couldn’t get over the obstacle that was a Brooklyn three-point lead throughout majority of the third quarter. Memphis trailed Brooklyn 96-93 heading to the fourth.
It was a slow start to the 4th quarter by the Grizzlies, as the Nets took over in the opening minutes of the final frame. Former Grizzly Yuta Watanabe, who leads the NBA in three-point percentage, went off from beyond the arc for the Nets.
The Grizzlies struggled in critical situations closing out on three-point shooters. Something that you look to see Memphis improve on. The Grizzlies would wind up falling to the Nets 127-115.
The Grizzlies will look to bounce back on Tuesday night as they take on the Sacramento Kings at FedEx Forum.