Memphis comes into Detroit fresh off of the trade deadline, of course when your team is built the way the Grizzlies are, you aren’t pressed to make a move ... so they didn’t. Detroit did make a few moves, however, and was short handed on the evening. The Pistons didn’t stand a chance against this machine.
By the way, the All Star team captains drafted their teams today, and Ja Morant was drafted 4th overall by Kevin Durant.
The Grizzlies struck first, thanks to Steven Adams who had a monster first quarter with eight points, five rebounds, and four assists. The Grizzlies utilized Adams’ strong start to unleash an all-out assault on the Pistons in Detroit. Memphis managed to score 41 points for the opening period. The craziest thing is the Grizzlies didn’t have any player reach double-digit scoring in that 41-point opener. This should give you an idea of just how well the Memphis ball movement has been, and the selfless play of the Grizzlies to spread the wealth of scoring opportunities, because there will certainly be plenty tonight.
The Grizzlies start off a little bit slower than they did in the opening quarter, which was to be expected, as they were on pace for a 164 point game after the first. The Pistons didn’t cut much into the 20-point lead, but they at least have started trading baskets, virtually halfway into the second quarter. The Pistons went on a lil 10-0 run the last 90 seconds of the first half. They ended up closing the gap quite a bit coming back down from a 25-point lead to finish the half down 65-50. Ja Morant had a very rare quiet first half, scoring only seven points, but it’s also a testament of how loaded this Memphis team truly is to still take a 25-point lead at one point.
The Pistons build even more on their 10-0 run that ended the first half, as Detroit shrunk Memphis lead down to 11 in the first part of the third quarter. This really started to become a game of runs.
The final period saw the Grizzlies go back up 20+ points. However, this Pistons bunch is more Die Hard than Bruce Willis, as they cut the lead back down to 88-105 with just under nine minutes into the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, Memphis’ three point and free throw shooting just proved to be too much for Detroit to sustain. Memphis shot 29/42 from the charity stripe, as Detroit only shot 21 free throw attempt — although they did make 18/21. Memphis was more aggressive and confident taking shots. From three-point territory, Memphis shot 15/30 for 50% on the evening.
“12” finished with a game-high 23 points, and Bane was one shy with 22 points for himself. Adams finished with a double of 16 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists on the evening. Kyle Anderson had a double-double himself with 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Brandon Clarke nearly had a double-double off the bench with 14 points and 9 rebounds, while De’Anthony Melton was making two-way plays to score and using his defense to create his offense as he finished with 14 points four rebounds & four assists.
Memphis sealed the deal, 132-107, putting on another show on another team’s home court. They’re walking two-way assault for 48 minutes in any gym they walk in.
Even the Pistons color commentators mentioned at halftime that they think the Grizzlies can win a title this year! Take that, undersellers!