Matt Barnes Half-Court Buzzer Beater
Barnes half-court buzzer beater stops Pistons
(AP) Detroit sports fans can be excused if the last week has ruined their holiday mood.
Six days after Aaron Rodgers beat the Lions with a 60-yard Hail Mary pass as time expired at Ford Field, the Pistons were on the wrong end of a similar finish 30 miles north at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
This time, it was Matt Barnes knocking down a halfcourt shot with 1.1 seconds to play that gave the Memphis Sounds a 93-92 victory over Detroit.
"I knew I was ahead of a lot of people, and I wasn't sure what the time was, but I had space to get a clean look and I shot it," Barnes said. "It was a crazy, lucky shot to hit and win a game."
Marc Gasol pulled Memphis to 92-90 by making one of two free throws with 29.4 seconds to play, and Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger chose to play defense rather than foul. Marcus Morris missed a contested shot, and the ball was knocked away from Ersan Ilyasova before Andre Drummond missed a tip.
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy shook his head when asked if Ilyasova had been fouled.
"After losing a game on a halfcourt shot, I'm going to get myself a huge fine from the league?" he asked. "No."
As Memphis grabbed the rebound, Joerger started to call a timeout, but stopped when he saw his team breaking up the floor. Barnes could have gotten closer - he let fly from halfcourt with time left on the clock - but the shot rattled home. Once again, a Detroit crowd fell silent as a visiting team celebrated.
"The play we called if they missed was to dribble three times and shoot it with 4 seconds left from halfcourt," Joerger joked. "We executed it very well."
Detroit still had 1.1 seconds left, and managed to anger its coach as Morris missed another tough shot.
"Instead of running the play, we broke it off after the first option," a frustrated Van Gundy said. "I told them that I still don't know if the play works, because we didn't run it in Washington and we didn't run it again tonight."
Zach Randolph led Memphis with 21 points and 16 rebounds, while Gasol had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Courtney Lee came off the bench to score 14.
Drummond had 18 points and 19 rebounds for the Pistons. Reggie Jackson added 18 points and seven assists.
"It's the toughest loss all season," Jackson said. "It was a good basketball game, just with something unimaginable and unexplainable happening at the end."
The Pistons had led for the entire second half, and Randolph missed a pair of free throws that could have tied the game with 3:43 to play. Jackson's 3-pointer made it 92-87, but Randolph made it a three-point game with a tip-in.
The Pistons were then called for a shot-clock violation with 1:12 to play, and after the teams traded misses, Gasol made it 92-90 from the line, setting up the frantic final seconds.
Detroit might have had a bigger lead with a better start to the game.
The Pistons struggled to hit shots early, trailing by as many as nine points, but rallied to take the lead late in the second quarter. Detroit outscored Memphis 30-19 in the period and led 47-43 at halftime.
Much of the half was a battle between Gasol and Drummond. Drummond finished the half with seven points and nine rebounds, while Gasol had eight points and seven rebounds.
The Pistons expanded the lead to 58-49 early in the third, but the Grizzlies were within 74-67 by quarter's end, and narrowed the gap to one early in the fourth.
The Grizzlies will host the Hornets on Friday night at FedExForum. It's Star Wars Night. The first 3,000 fans will receive a Tony Allen Jedi robe.
Key Stat of the Night
- The Grizzlies are 29-15 on the second night of a back-to-back under Dave Joerger since 2013-14 season – ranked third in the NBA.
Key Run of the Night
- Matt Barnes knocking down a halfcourt shot with 1.1 seconds to play that gave the Memphis Sounds the victory.
On the game
Good win; haven’t been playing great. I thought our defensive effort tonight was pretty good. We got after people. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot and that’s what I told the guys. To play defense through what we did to ourselves with the turnovers and the missed free throws, that’s just a heck of a defensive effort for us against a team that, has given us problems with Reggie Jackson getting in the paint. I didn’t like the way that the first half ended. We were sitting there with a 43-38 lead, they go out and run out a 9-0 run to finish, when I thought we played a pretty good half and so that was tough. But we battled, we battled and played from behind the whole game after that. The play that we had called if they missed was to dribble three times and shoot it with four seconds on the clock from half court and end the game, so we executed very well.
-- Head Coach Dave Joerger
On calling timeout on Barnes' shot
If he put the ball down, I didn’t want to call a timeout because then you can’t advance it, but you can if you take two time outs and it’s one of those things where for what we’re going through, this is something that can change things going forward. Just the crazy bounces of the game, that’s the crazy bounces of the game right there.
-- Head Coach Dave Joerger
On his game-winning shot
It’s good. We had a tough game last night, Oklahoma City beat us down, and to come back and bounce back tonight when we didn’t have our best effort the whole game. We turned it up in the fourth quarter and I hit a crazy, lucky halfcourt shot to win it.
-- Matt Barnes
On defense in the fourth quarter
The good thing about shooting free throws at the end is the shot clock stops, the clock stops. Especially when you’re playing from behind that’s what you want, and you have better time to save your defense. When they run they put all the pressure, pick-and-roll and Andre (Drummond) running, it opens up the shooters. Sometimes you get lucky and you make a shot like that and win the game.
-- Marc Gasol
- Zach Randolph recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 21 points and 16 rebounds.
- Randolph (8,846 career rebounds) passed Shawn Kemp (8,834 career rebounds) for 51st in NBA history.
- Marc Gasol recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
- Matt Barnes grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds and connected on a game-winning half-court shot.
Star Wars Night: Grizzlies vs. Hornets
The Force is strong with the Grizzlies as they face the Dark Side of the New Orleans Hornets on Star Wars Night - Friday, Dec. 11. The first 3,000 fans will receive a Tony Allen Jedi Robe. Don't miss the antics and action as we celebrate the Star Wars legacy and anticipation for the upcoming "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" blockbuster release.