The Memphis Grizzlies had to be ready to see the hardwood once again following a tough loss in OT to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night. In this contest, they faced a matchup with the New York Knicks on ESPN at Madison Square Garden. Could the Grizzlies shine in primetime on Wednesday night?
The Grizzlies started off their night at Madison Square Garden missing some shots that they normally would make. The Knicks looked to be hitting their stride on offense early in the first quarter before a Taylor Jenkins timeout. Following the timeout at the 7:01 mark in the first quarter, the Grizzlies outscored the Knicks 24-14. Behind De’Anthony Melton’s 11 points off the bench. Memphis led the Knicks 35-27 at the end of one.
The Grizzlies got off to quite the start in the second quarter, jumping all over the Knicks defense with extremely efficient offense. This allowed Ja Morant a full rest cycle before returning in the second quarter. The Grizzlies led by as much as 17 while Morant was on the bench. The bench unit played extremely well.
Once Morant came back into the game, well, the rest was history. It felt like the Knicks were doing everything in their power to claw back any kind of momentum from Memphis. Morant led both teams with 15 points on 7/13 shooting to go along with five assists for Memphis in only 15 minutes. The Grizzlies led the Knicks 64-52 at the half at Madison Square Garden.
The Grizzlies came out with little energy to start the third quarter in New York. The Knicks established that they would be the enforcer in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Allowing the Knicks to grab a bit of Memphis’ momentum, the Grizzlies lead got down to six at one point. However, the young Grizzlies stayed composed, and rookie Ziaire Williams did his thing for Memphis in the third quarter. His play was carrying Memphis in a way, and allowing Memphis to keep the Knicks at arms length. Williams had 19 points (a career high) heading to the fourth quarter. Memphis led the Knicks 92-79 heading to the fourth quarter.
The Grizzlies got off to a slow start again in the fourth quarter as the Knicks were on the attack more consistently. The Knicks put a steady dose of pressure on the Grizzlies on both ends of the floor. The Knicks came close several times coming down the stretch, but ultimately the Grizzlies out-executed the Knicks. Memphis would take down the Knicks 120-108.
Jaren Jackson Jr. - 26 points (8/14 FG, 4/7 3PT), 10 rebounds, 2 blocks in 33 minutes
Ja Morant - 23 points (9/27 FG), 9 assists, 3 steals in 36 minutes
Ziaire Williams - 21 points (9/11 FG, 3/5 3PT), 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 33 minutes
The Grizzlies will be back in action Saturday afternoon for a matinee tip against the Orlando Magic.