The Memphis Grizzlies came into tonight on the second half of a back-to-back, as the San Antonio Spurs arrived for the 1st of 2 games in the 901 this week. The Grizzlies were looking to extend their winning streak to 7 games, but without Ja Morant this time as he’s nursing a thigh injury.
The first quarter was rather tight the entire time, as both teams were lethargically going back and forth. The Grizzlies opened up a double-digit lead with the lineup of Kennedy Chandler, John Konchar, Ziaire Williams, Santi Aldama, and Xavier Tillman. The sophomores, Williams and Aldama, led the charge for the Grizzlies en route to their double-digit lead — closing the 1st quarter with a 35-25 lead.
Like the first quarter, the second started out pretty relaxed. Jaren Jackson Jr. had a thunderous combo block early in the period, another reminder of his force inside:
The offense started to chug along in latter half of the quarter, due to the backcourt duo of Tyus Jones and Desmond Bane. They finished with 72 points by halftime, leading 72-61 at intermission.
Jackson opened up the 3rd quarter with more blocks, but the Grizzlies couldn't contain the Spurs. The feisty Spurs started to chip away at the lead, and the Grizzlies offense stalled out late in the period. The Grizzlies’ lead was cut to 5, as they ended the quarter with a 97-92 lead.
The Spurs managed to take the lead in the 4th quarter. However, Tyus Jones came in to right the ship for the Grizzlies to help regain the lead. Desmond Bane hit his signature “fly-by” 3 in transition as well to give the Grizzlies more momentum. Jaren Jackson Jr.’s dagger provided the final dagger for the Memphis Grizzlies, as they came away with a 121-113 win.
- Tyus Jones, righter of the ship. The Grizzlies offense stalled out in the second half, as they shot 37% in that span. Once the Spurs took the lead, the Grizzlies needed an extra jolt to bring them over the finish line. Jones did that for the Grizzlies, creating offense for both himself and his teammates late in the game to push them to victory. Having a backup point guard like Jones is a luxury for the Grizzlies, allowing them to be cautious with a soreness injury with their starting point guard. He’s been averaging roughly 21 points and 8 assists as a starter this season, carrying himself with a “stay ready” mentality that’s engrained in this team’s culture. Also, the Jones brothers’ hoop session was fun to watch.
- The Grizzlies coasted a bit. The Grizzlies didn’t feel like their full selves in this game. They seemed pretty relaxed. It was their 3rd back-to-back since New Year’s Eve, and they weren’t playing a top team. The mental disengage wasn’t surprising, but it still made the game a bit worrisome. It wasn’t anything to worry about, but just an observation.
- Grizzlies sophomores. Ziaire Williams and Santi Aldama joined the starters as the Grizzlies in double-digits. Aldama continued to provide good fluidity and perimeter shooting, while also using his size to exploit mismatches down low. Williams looks more comfortable and confident out there. Aside from the 3rd quarter, Williams flashed a lot more on-ball juice in this game, a promising sign for his development upon his return.
The Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs will battle once again on Wednesday, as Memphis looks to extend their winning streak to a career-best 8 games.