…and the good times the just keep on rolling.
The Grizzlies defeated the New Orleans Hornets 96-85, giving them their fourth consecutive win, and their 12th in the past 13 games. Rather than needing another come back, the Grizzlies were in charge of this one from the beginning, outscoring the Hornets 25-19 in the first quarter, and having a 47-41 lead at the half. They really took over in the third quarter, though, when they outscored New Orleans 31-19, effectively putting the game out of reach.
For the fourth straight game, the Grizzlies were without Zach Randolph, who is recovering from a sprained left ankle injury that he suffered in the Grizzlies loss to the Miami Heat last Friday. Ed Davis filled in at the power forward spot, and for the second night in a row, accumulated 12 points and nine rebounds. He also made his presence known on the defensive end, putting in five blocks. Now that Davis has gotten a chance to play, he’s looked pretty good. Hopefully, coach Hollins doesn’t go back to burying him in the lineup after Z-Bo returns.
The MVP of this one was easily Mike Conley, who put in 22 points, eight assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Conley has been one of the hottest players on the team lately. With Z-Bo out, someone needed to pick up the slack on offense, and Conley has been up to the task.
Even in a losing effort, Hornets rookie Anthony Davis really shined tonight, having one of his best games as a pro. Davis put in 20 points and 18 rebounds, reminding us just how good he is going to be when he reaches his full potential. 6th man Ryan Anderson was also effective for New Orleans, putting in 17 points and seven rebounds. Between Davis and Anderson, there’s a decent case that the Hornets have two of the top 15 power forwards in the league. It’s too bad the team around them is nowhere near is good.
Greivis Vasquez had a quietly effective night against his former team, putting 12 points and eight assists, while much-hyped shooting guard Eric Gordon had a fairly small role tonight, only putting in 11 points in 28 minutes, though he did shoot the ball well, going 4 of 7 from the field.
What really killed the Hornets was their bench. Beyond Anderson, this team just doesn’t have a lot of depth. Multiple players were woefully ineffective, despite being given a legitimate chance to contribute. Darius Miller played 17 minutes and somehow managed to avoid recording a shot. Meanwhile, former Spurs playoff hero Roger Mason, Jr. fared ever-so-slightly better, contributing 2 points in 14 minutes. The Hornets have some talented players, but they’re a very thin team, and tonight, they were simply a mess.
The Grizzlies have the next two nights off before they head in to Portland on Wednesday, where they’ll go a fifth straight win against the Blazers. Hopefully, Z-Bo will be back by then, but to their credit, the Grizzlies have kept things humming along just fine without him.