The Memphis Grizzlies won their 2016 preseason opener at FedExForum Monday night against the Orlando Magic as David Fizdale led the team to a win in his preseason debut as an NBA head coach.
Rookie Wade Baldwin led the Grizzlies with 15 points in his NBA preseason debut knocking down all five of his field goal attempts. Mike Conley (10), Marc Gasol (10), Andrew Harrison (11) and Brandan Wright (10) also ended the game in double figures.
The Grizzlies forced the Magic into 23 turnovers, while only committing 13 themselves. Memphis converted Orlando’s 23 turnovers into 23 points, holding a 23-14 advantage in points off turnovers.
After a 10-0 Magic run to a 40-33 lead in the second quarter, the Grizzlies responded with a 17-2 run to race out to an eight-point lead (50-42). During the 3:56 stretch, the Grizzlies forced three turnovers and knocked down nine of their 11 free throw attempts.
Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier scored 13 of his game-high 18 points in the first quarter. Center Bismack Biyombo led the team with 10 rebounds while center Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with five assists.
The Grizzlies are back in action on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 as they take on the Atlanta Hawks at FedExForum at 7pm (CT).
Next Home Game
The Grizzlies return to FedExForum on Thursday, Oct. 6 to host the Atlanta Hawks.
Key Stat of the Night
- The Grizzlies forced the Magic into 23 turnovers, while only committing 13 themselves. The Grizzlies posted a 12-3 record during the 2015-16 regular season when forcing 20-or-more turnovers.
Key Run of the Night
- After a 10-0 Magic run to a 40-33 lead in the second quarter, the Grizzlies responded with a 17-2 run to race out to an eight-point lead. During the 3:56 stretch, the Grizzlies forced three turnovers and knocked down nine of their 11 free throw attempts.
More Game Shots
You noticed I got up in the fourth quarter because we went on our biggest run while he was coaching, and so I didn’t want to lose my job the first night. I wanted him to do that because again I’m pushing him out in front to really take a leadership role and be more vocal, but he’s also learning the offense and learning different things about what we are trying to do so what faster way to get things moving from a connection standpoint but to let him communicate to his teammates constantly. We’re talking about one of the highest IQ basketball players in the league, who has a lot of respect from his teammates. By no means was it gimmick or a joke. I really wanted him to be the guy communicating tonight. That was more important than me just standing there ranting and running around and making a fuss. I thought it was a really good thing when he ran the timeout and got us organized. He really helped Wade and Andrew tonight.
-- Coach Fizdale
On DJ Stephens performance
Woah. He’s always been like that though. I had him in summer league in Miami. You’re talking about a kid that you root for. He is classy a young man and as professional as they come. He really brought a great energy to the game. He’s obviously one of those players that can play to ignite everything and ignite his teammates, ignite the crowd, change the tempo of the game. I really like how he was flying around out there. He was so jacked up I had to take him out after two minutes because his asthma kicked in and I said come on over here and take a couple deep breathes and he busted his finger on the rim on the one dunk, he dunked so hard. I was really happy with his effort and you can’t root for a better kid.
-- Coach Fizdale
On if he feels like a rookie
I don’t feel like too much of a young player right now. These guys do a great job of preparing me in practice and all offseason. I felt comfortable playing in any game at any magnitude, just trying to compete.
-- Wade Baldwin
On Wade Baldwin
He played at a high level. He’s willing to listen and he wants to learn, wants to be a very good point guard in the league. One thing he’s done well is ask questions. We’ve talked a bunch of times so he understands that he has the ability, he just has to continue to learn how this game is played. The game is a little faster, so he’s going to make mistakes. We all understand that. It’s just the ins and outs, and I think that’s where we as veterans come into play. We just stay in his ear and settle him down. That’s what we try to do for all the young guys, just try to settle them down a little bit to make the game slow down.
-- Vince Carter
On settling in at the point guard position
Just being able to push the ball like Coach (Fizdale) says, just working on things that he’s been saying like picking up my pace, that’s what I’ve been working on. Hopefully that’s working out.
-- Andrew Harrison
- Marc Gasol made his return after sustaining a foot injury on 2/8/16, scoring 10 points on 5-11 shooting.
- Wade Baldwin led the Grizzlies in his NBA preseason debut, scoring 15 points and knocking down all five of his field goal attempts.
- Evan Fournier scored 13 of his game-high 18 points in the first quarter.
- Former Grizzlies forward Jeff Green scored five points in his Magic debut. In 98 games over parts of two seasons with the Grizzlies, he averaged 12.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 29.6 minutes.
- Andrew Harrison posted a game-high six assists to go with 11 points in his NBA preseason debut.
- Bismack Biyombo posted a game-high 10 rebounds in his Magic debut, while center Nikola Vucevic led the team with five assists.