Since the Memphis Grizzlies began the 2012-2013 regular season with one of the best records in the entire league, it’s been a mixed bag. In addition to the big early wins over the Heat, Thunder, Knicks and Lakers, the Grizzlies have since added some head-scratching losses down the stretch of 2012. Phoenix, Philadelphia and the Pacers all managed to beat the Grizzlies in December.
In the NBA, anything can happen on any given night, but those seemed like the type of losses that could haunt a team in April when they’re trying to get into playoff position.
In their first game of the new year however, the Grizzlies did exactly as they wanted to and beat the Boston Celtics 93-83. It’s always good to win, but winning on the road against one of the toughest Eastern Conference teams year in and year out is another feather in the Grizzlies’ cap.
Mike Conley Jr. led the charge for the visiting Grizzlies with 23 points and 9 assists. Conley also shot 3-6 from three point range, while he turned the ball over only once.
Conley led the Grizzlies in scoring, but Tony Allen had the best all-around game for the visitors. Allen has played in Boston since leaving twice already, but Wednesday night was probably his finest moment as he played his usual brand of defense, but chipped in with 15 points and 5 rebounds.
Conley and Allen’s contributions were even more important with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol having rare off nights.
Even more encouraging for the Grizzlies had to be Darrell Arthur and Marreese Speights’ contributions off of the bench. Each scored 10 points, and Speights did so in just 14 minutes of play. Speights also hauled in six rebounds as he played his most productive game of the season.
Concerning for the Grizzlies had to be Jerryd Bayless’ early departure from the game with a sprained ankle. That led to Conley playing 44 minutes for the night, or as Lionel Hollins calls it, an off night.
The Grizzlies return home for one game to host the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.