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Quick Recap: Grizzlies hold off Spurs feisty comeback

The Grizzlies hold off the comeback to secure the win, Southwest Division, and 2nd in

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Memphis Grizzlies v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies traveled to San Antonio looking to extend their winning streak to 6, and to lock up their playoff positioning with over a week left in the season.

Things started out quite well for the Grizzlies. Shots were falling from 3, the ball was moving, and they stifled the Spurs to generate a big lead. However, like every Gregg Popovich team, the Spurs didn't die. They blitzed the Grizzlies and threw a lot of different looks and coverages at them, which cut the Memphis lead. The Grizzlies maintained poise to pick up a resilient win over the Spurs.

Memphis Grizzlies v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Tyus Jones Appreciation

Tyus Jones has been a catalyst for this team. When Ja Morant has been out of action, Jones keeps the engine humming.

Jones’ playmaking efficiency stands out for most people. The way he’s been able to maintain an assist-to-turnover ratio between 6 and 7, while increasing his minutes and usage load, has been remarkably impressive.

However, tonight he showed that he can put pressure on the defense with his scoring. He shot a career-high in shot attempts (21), 3-point attempts (10), and tied a career-high in made 3’s (5). When his shot is on and he’s getting to his spots in the floater zone, he can cause problems for opposing defenses — especially when he’s zipping the ball as a passer.

There will be conversations regarding Tyus Jones and his potential free agency over the next few months — how much money will he make, if someone will sign him to be their starting point guard, or if the Grizzlies can afford to keep him. While it’s relevant, and I’m guilty of it, Jones is providing a lot of value in the here and now. He’s the undisputed best backup point guard in franchise history, and his value shines each passing game.

Enjoy it.

Memphis Grizzlies v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Dillon Brooks has his groove back

From a health standpoint, it’s been a rough go at it for Dillon Brooks. He started the season out for the first couple weeks with an offseason hand injury. Then he was back for about a month before entering health-and-safety protocols, and in his second game back from that, he sprained his ankle — leading to a 2-month absence.

Brooks has had to shake off rust over the past few weeks. He’s brought up conditioning, which is important for someone with his responsibilities. He also had to get his offensive groove back, which led to him forcing shots here and there.

Brooks has been easing back in his form over the past week — taking on star assignments and finding his spots more often. If it wasn’t earlier, then tonight was the signal that Dillon Brooks is back into form. He provided a big offensive punch, but what stood out was how he was getting going. It seemed like he wasn’t really forcing shots, weaving his way inside with good poise and control. He also made slick reads to find his teammates for easier shots — a sign of his maturation as a player.

The Grizzlies are going to need Dillon Brooks at its best in the postseason. Will that come with a series — or 2, or 3, ... or 4 — where he averages 25 points (again)? Probably not. That’s okay though. They’ll need Brooks to defend the opposing team’s main dude, create half-court offense with his mid-range jumper, and space the floor. And when he’s needed to, a big scoring pop in the postseason can carry Memphis on an off night.

Regardless, it’s great to have Dillon Brooks back.

Quick Hits

  • Not enough Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. Credit to the San Antonio Spurs defense for how difficult they made it to get these two going. However, when Ja Morant isn’t on the floor, those two shouldn’t be 3rd and 4th in shot attempts. It would’ve been nice to see Taylor Jenkins getting those two going with some designed sets.
  • The Spurs will never die. The Spurs’ play-in push has been a hot topic for the past few weeks, as they overtook the Los Angeles Lakers for 10th in the Western Conference last night. They are such a frisky team with a lot of athletic smart players that hustle on both sides of the ball. Popovich has done an awesome job with this cast of players. They made this game something to sweat about.
  • History. With this win, the Memphis Grizzlies accomplished two things they haven’t done before. They secured the division title for the Southwest Division. They also locked in a top-3 seed for the first time, as they’re officially the 2nd seed in the Western Conference. Some more accolades for a sensational regular season.

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