At halftime of Wednesday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors, it looked like another one of those nights for the Memphis Grizzlies. They were at home against an opponent that they should handle rather easily, but kept letting them hang around and stay within striking distance.
At halftime, the Grizzlies led by just a point and the Grizzlies’ habit of playing up and down to competition had shown up in basically every game they’ve played so far in the 2012-2013 season.
Then the third quarter started and most people in attendance had a tough time remembering that it was ever close. Memphis outscored Toronto 33-14 in the third and cruised to a big 103-82 win to improve their record to 11-2.
Zach Randolph posted yet another double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds on an impressive 7-10 shooting from the field. He also added 6 assists as the Grizzlies’ claim on having the best passing big men in the game was reinforced.
The other author of the fancy passing duo, Marc Gasol, had 17 points of his own to go with his three assists.
Mike Conley Jr.’s return to the lineup was much needed, as were his 16 points on a tidy 4-5 from three point range.
The most surprising performance was probably Marreesse Speights’ big performance off of the bench. So far into the season, Speights had yet to reach his level of play from the previous year, but he put up 18 points and 12 rebounds against Toronto in 24 minutes of play.
Most surprising was probably Speights’ range as he nailed a three-pointer late in the game when the outcome was already decided.
More concerning for the Grizzlies was the performance of the bench aside from Speights. Jerryd Bayless returned to his role as the back-up point guard but didn’t shoot well and even Quincy Pondexter never got going.
That said, the Grizzlies won the first leg of The Canada Cup and won their second of three home games that they should win on this homestand. One more stop is above on Friday night against the Detroit Pistons before another test on Saturday on the road against the San Antonio Spurs.