Going into Wednesday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Memphis Grizzlies had won two straight games after a season opening loss to the Clippers. The Bucks had also won 2 straight games. Something had to give.
Despite having 6 turnovers in the first quarter Memphis took a 23-22 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Grizzlies went on a 9-0 run to start the second quarter, and would never trail again. Memphis was up by 13 at halftime, and went on a 13-4 run to start the third quarter to make it 69-47. Milwaukee fought back with a 21-6 run of their own to cut the lead to 7 with about a minute left in the period. The Grizzlies then buried back-to-back three pointers at the end of the period to get back to a 13 point lead. The Bucks never got closer than 11 points in the fourth, and the Grizzlies led by as many as 23. The Grizzlies ended up winning 108-90 to improve to 3-1 this season. It was the fourth straight victory for Memphis over Milwaukee. The Bucks dropped to 2-1 on the year.
The Grizzlies shot 53% from the field and made 6 of 16 three point shots. Memphis made 14 of 19 free throws. The Grizz had 49 rebounds, 28 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks and 14 turnovers. Memphis had 20 fast break points and 46 points in the paint.
Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph had 18 points and 13 rebounds. Marreese Speights had 18 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks off the bench. Small forward Rudy Gay added 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Center Marc Gasol had 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. Point guard Mike Conley, Jr. scored 13 points along with 12 assists. Forward Quincy Pondexter made 3 of 4 treys and scored 9 points off the bench. Jerryd Bayless added 8 points and 3 assists, also off the bench.
Milwaukee shot 38.5% from the field, including 6/15 from 3 point range. The Bucks made 14 of 21 free throws. Milwaukee had 41 rebounds, 22 assists, 10 steals, 9 blocks, and 10 turnovers. The Bucks had 20 fast break points and 38 points in the paint.
Bucks’ point guard Brandon Jennings had 19 points on 6 of 20 shooting, and also had 3 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Monta Ellis had 15 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals. He was 5/18 shooting from the field. Mike Dunleavy, Larry Sanders, and Marquis Daniels had 10 points each off the bench. Sanders also had 11 rebounds. Tobias Harris had 8 points and 6 rebounds.
Some Grizzlies turnovers kept the Bucks in the game in the first quarter, but they were ice cold shooting. The Grizzlies meanwhile had a fantastic shooting night. You add the rebounding advantage for Memphis and it adds up to a rout. I have to say it was probably the best performance of the young season for the Grizzlies, and they can build on it for the next game. They do need to cut down on the turnovers though.
Up next is a home game against the new look Houston Rockets Friday night. It is the first Southwest division game of the year for the Grizzlies. We will have complete coverage of that game and every other Grizzlies game this season.