With the Memphis Grizzlies playing their 3rd game in 4 nights, rest seemed like a likely route, and that’s exactly what happened.
The Memphis Grizzlies fielded 10 active players in tonight’s showdown with the Miami Heat, who was playing their normal starting 5 in this one.
Dillon Brooks kickstarted the festivities for the Grizzlies, as he scored a quick 7 points. However, the Heat bolted out to a 28-17 lead midway through the 1st quarter with fiery outside shooting and quick ball movement. The Grizzlies managed to put together a small run fueled by Tyus Jones and Brandon Clarke to close the quarter — as they made some tough buckets inside the paint. The Grizzlies narrowed the gap to 4, as they trailed 32-27 at the end of the 1st quarter.
Kennedy Chandler energized the game in the 2nd quarter, oozing confidence with his jump-shot and his playmaking. He hit a deep 3 in Kyle Lowry’s face that brought the FedExForum into a frenzy. Tyus Jones and Santi Aldama carried the Grizzlies’ momentum once Chandler stepped off the floor, as the Grizzlies led 58-51 at halftime.
The Heat added more urgency through the 3rd quarter, looking to hit the Grizzlies with some haymakers with their heavy-hitters. However, the Grizzlies managed to withstand the punches to keep it tight. Tyus Jones and Kennedy Chandler helped navigate Memphis out of them to regain the lead. The Grizzlies led 82-77 after the 3rd quarter.
In the 4th quarter, the Grizzlies began to open up the game a little bit. Brandon Clarke helped get the lead to double-digits with two buckets inside. The Grizzlies kept it in that ballpark through the majority of the 4th quarter, and ultimately held on to win the game by the final score of 101-93.
- Tyus Jones: 28 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals
- Santi Aldama: 18 points, 10 rebounds, 2 stocks
- Dillon Brooks: 17 points, 4 rebounds, 5 turnovers
- Brandon Clarke: 11 points, 4 rebounds
- Kennedy Chandler: 9 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 stocks
- The Grizzlies’ point guards were electric. Even without Ja Morant, the Memphis Grizzlies point guards electrified the game. Tyus Jones carried most of the creation responsibilities — finding his groove inside, identifying driving lanes, and setting his teammates up for shot attempts. Kennedy Chandler stepped into the lineup for the Grizzlies, and he brought the energy for sure. The crowd fed off his speed and defensive intensity. Though he made some rookie mistakes, he ultimately made a lot of winning plays towards tonight’s win — possessing a game-high +18 plus/minus. They were the “next men up” for Ja Morant, and they brought the energy and production in tonight’s win.
- Next man up. Despite who comes in and out of the roster and rotation, the message stays the same: “next man up.” The Grizzlies didn’t have their 3 best players and 2 other rotation players on the wing. Veterans Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, and Tyler Herro were on the other side. It was the Memphis Grizzlies, shorthanded without their “Big 3,” who prevailed. It’s a testament to the system and culture Taylor Jenkins and the coaching staff has set for the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies will stay home to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, looking to extend its winning streak to 4 games.