MEMvNOP: Grizzmo 1.20.20
MEMvNOP: playlist 1.20.20
Postgame Report: Pelicans snap Grizzlies’ winning streak on 18th annual Martin Luther King Jr. day game
Key Stat of the Night
- The Pelicans set a franchise record with 21 three-pointers made (on 48 attempts) while shooting 43.8 percent from long range. Memphis shot 9-of-33 from beyond the arc (.273).
Key Run of the Night
- Memphis cut New Orleans’ 23-point fourth-quarter lead to five points (121-116) with 1:28 remaining following a 7-0 burst
The Memphis Grizzlies had their season-high seven-game winning streak snapped as they fell to the New Orleans Pelicans 126-116 on Monday night inside FedExForum.
The Grizzlies and Pelicans were locked in a high scoring game early as both teams shot over 45 percent from the field in the first quarter. Jrue Holiday started his career night off strong as he scored eight early points to give the Pelicans a 31-30 lead after one quarter. The Grizzlies offense would sputter and the Pelicans offense would catch fire to begin the second quarter. The Pelicans would go on to knock down nine three-pointers in the second quarter and 15 in the first half, which is the most made in a single half in NBA History. Memphis trailed New Orleans by just three points (36-33) with 10:26 remaining in the second quarter following a running floater from De’Anthony Melton. After the Grizzlies’ basket the Pelicans would go on a 21-9 run, stretching their lead to 57-42 with 4:15 remaining in the first half.
New Orleans would outscore Memphis 38-20 in the second quarter as they limited Memphis to just 1-of-9 from deep. Holiday scored 21 of his 36 points on the night in the first half to help New Orleans stretch their lead to 69-50 at the break. Holiday continued his strong night shooting, scoring 12 points in the third quarter, as the Pelicans took a 98-77 lead into the final quarter of play. The Grizzlies would not go away quietly, however, as they used a 16-4 run to trim the lead to 121-116 1:28 to play in the game. Following the basket from Jaren Jackson Jr. to cut the Pelicans lead to five points, New Orleans would hold Memphis scoreless for the remainder of the game, snapping the Grizzlies’ second longest winning streak in franchise history. After opening the season 6-22, the Pelicans have gone 11-5 in their last 16 games dating back to Dec. 18.
Dillon Brooks totaled a season-high tying 31 points, nine rebounds and four assists to the lead the Grizzlies. Brooks’ nine rebounds also tie a 2019-20 season high (11/4/19 vs. Houston). Tonight’s loss marked the first game the Grizzlies have lost when he scores 20-or-more points, dropping to 13-1 in such games. Jackson Jr. totaled 19 points, six rebounds and two blocks in 30 minutes of play. Jackson Jr. now has 15 games this season with multiple blocks and multiple three-pointers, which leads all of the NBA. Jonas Valanciunas added team-leading 20th double-double of the season tonight as he scored 14 points (6-of-8 shooting) to go with 11 rebounds. Ja Morant added 16 points and nine assists as Memphis fell to 20-23 on the season.
Holiday led all scorers with 36 points (12-18 FG, 7-10 3P), six rebounds and two steals for the Pelicans. Holiday’s seven three-pointers on the night marks a new career-high. Brandon Ingram totaled 25 points, six assists and four rebounds for New Orleans, while knocking down 11-of-12 free throws. Nicolo Melli added 15 points, five rebounds and two blocks while knocking down three three-pointers in the first half. New Orleans finished the night with 21 made three-pointers, a new franchise record, as the Pelicans improved to 17-27 on the year.
The Grizzlies will hit the road for two games as they visit the Boston Celtics inside TD Garden on Wednesday, January 22 at 6:30 p.m. Fans can watch the game on FOX Sports Southeast or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
On tonight’s game:Give the Pelicans tons of credit. They played amazing tonight and were firing on all cylinders. They’ve been playing great, and they proved it again tonight. Jrue Holiday stepped in and set a tone for them, but (Brandon) Ingram’s playing well and guys off their bench. They played great, and we didn’t have it today. Just timing was off and all of that. I’m proud of the guys competing, and we cut it down to five. It was definitely ugly for a good majority of the game. It was a product of them playing great and us really not playing that good. I’m proud of the guys, but we’ve just got to turn a corner and get ready for the next game.
On whether the Grizzlies just didn’t have it tonight:Yea, sure. Fortunately, we haven’t had many of these nights. If you think back to when I think the Spurs came in here and we were firing at all cylinders. It was definitely a product of them playing great offensively. I think there were some things we did well defensively and then they still hit shots, but then there were plenty of things that we did not do good defensively, and they took full advantage of it. We were just off offensively, and we didn’t play with the force that we usually are accustomed to, but we had been playing great so it’s definitely not indicative of who we are. It’s just one of those nights. I’m not trying to make excuses by any means, but we can’t be down. We’ll plug along and watch the film and see where we’ve got to get better and get ready to carry this on the road.
On whether a size mismatch in players worked against the Grizzlies:I’ll go back and watch the film. Obviously, we had to start (Jaren Jackson Jr.) on (Jrue) Holiday, but I thought his first two threes were actually tough threes. They just kind of got going. They definitely threw a lot of funky lineups out there. We were playing big and small, so I don’t think it was as much chasing the matchup. We were just trying to find guys out there to give us some energy and maybe we could get something going. But, give them a lot of credit with how they were playing today.
On how much defensive movement affected offensive movement:I’ll have to go back and watch. I felt like we were trying to switch a lot and just our communication wasn’t there. It was there sporadically throughout, and they ran a whole lot of movement, But if we’re switching, we should be able to stop all that movement and just keep it in front. That’s where I said that they played great but there were miscues on our part for sure. Offensively, I felt like we didn’t really have the timing, regardless of what was going on on the defensive end. We’ll be better. Guys have been playing hard and their spirits were great. They were trying and trying, but we just didn’t have it. We could’ve easily just put our head down and have folded, but to take it from a 21-point lead down to five, that’s impressive and indicative of the competitive team we have. They fought until the end as tough as it was.
On Ja Morant’s performance:I think it was just a slow start. Obviously, he got it going in the fourth quarter, but I think just for all of us we were trying to make the plays like we normally do on the offensive end, but we were just fumbling the ball here and there and missing some layups and threes. It was just one of those starts for all of our guys.
On the evolution of the team:Just continue to build on our consistency. I think we’ve continued to do that the last few weeks, month or so. Offensively, we’ve been turning in the right direction with the number of assists, the pace of play and just continuing to get more efficient on the offensive end. How we can just continue to clean up and continue to get the looks that we want, but just even on a higher level. Defensively, we’ve been having an edge for a really long time, but today just didn’t have it. So, just the consistent mentality of just having that edge, especially defensively, where we’re not throwing out a million different coverages, but just a few here and there and just continue to be better in our habits defensively. These next 39 games, or something like that, I’ve been saying all along that we just need to get better defensively, defensively, defensively. Obviously tonight, it’s credit to them and we’ve got to be better too. That’s something that we’ve got to continue to hit day in and day out. If we can make some bigger strides, and I think we’ve made some incremental, but if we can make some big strides defensively, that’s going to be big for our team down the stretch.
On the second quarter:I mean, they hit a lot of shots. Our switches were not the best. We should have made them feel more uncomfortable and pressed up on, made them do things they didn’t want to do. They were comfortable early; they hit shots. Sometimes you’ve got to live with that, but there’s a lot of things we could have done better for sure.
On the importance of rallying in the fourth quarter to within five points:Very important [for us]. Especially at home, you want to make sure you protect home court, give the fans something, just keep it moving so you can get momentum for the road. Because the road is harder. I’m just happy to have a home stand like this, because we were on the road for a long time before it. So I’m just happy that we got to play here, and hopefully the fans feel the same way.
On playing on Martin Luther King Jr. Day:Oh, it’s great. It means a lot. You take it for what it is, and you understand that your platform is huge. Playing on one of the biggest stages, you understand your history, where you came from, what this means to everybody watching you. You go out there and try to represent. It’s not just about winning and losing, it’s also about how hard you play. You definitely want to make sure you take it serious and understand that a lot of people died for us to be able to do this.
On the young cores for the Grizzlies and Pelicans:They’re not going anywhere. A lot of them are under 25, just like us. We’ve known each other since we were younger, playing AAU and stuff like that. We’ve seen each other for a while. Looking forward to annoying each other for the next couple of years.
On how this game demonstrated the team’s ability to fight out of a deficit:We always do that no matter what the situation is. We’re going to fight; we’re not going to lay down for anybody. We’re not going to go out sad. I’m glad we brought it in the fourth, but we need to bring it earlier.
On whether this loss is a wake-up call for the matchup with Boston:Yeah, we have to come out stronger. Boston’s a good team, and especially at their crib, they’re going to be loud. Lot of good scorers there. So, just come out strong, throw the first punch, and keep it going.
On team’s performance:They made shots. They had career nights. We missed shots… It’s just one of those nights, I guess. Nobody likes losing. That’s no good, but we are turning the page. We play in two days, travel and practice tomorrow, watch film and go into the next game as if tonight didn’t happen. I was in the bed for like three quarters. We got a spark in the fourth quarter but we fell short.
On Pelicans’ performance:It was nothing to me, honestly. I felt like I was attacking the rack and getting contact... We still got to go in strong and finished, but that’s what it was. They made shots. I think they shot close to 50 percent from the field and mid-40s from three. We shot like in the 20s (from three-point range). That’s it right there.
On potentially playing against Zion Williamson:I was looking at it as Grizzlies versus Pelicans.
On the future rivalry:My focus is what I have right here. I can’t worry about any other team. We have to keep building and growing with the players we have right now. We have to keep making a run.
On fourth-quarter run:I think it shows our fight. We just kept playing until the buzzer sounded. They had some tough baskets late that sealed the win. I think we was down almost 30 points, and we cut it to like five points. It just shows our fight with the players we got. It just shows that we are going to compete and never give up.
Playing on Martin Luther King Jr. Day:It’s special to play on this night here and on TV. We came up short.
- Dillon Brooks totaled a season high-tying 31 points (his third career game to score 30 or more), a career-high tying nine rebounds and four assists to the lead the Grizzlies. Tonight’s loss marked the first game the Grizzlies have lost when he scores 20-or-more points (13-1).
- Jaren Jackson Jr. totaled 19 points and two blocks in 30 minutes. Jackson Jr. has 15 games this season with multiple blocks and multiple three-pointers, which leads the NBA. (Dallas’ Kristaps Porzingis ranks second with 12 such games).
- Ja Morant totaled 16 points to go along with nine assists and three rebounds. Morant led all rookies in both scoring (17.9 points) and assists (7.0 per game) entering tonight.
- Jonas Valanciunas logged his team-leading 21st double-double of the season with 14 points (6-8 FG) and 11 rebounds.
Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2019-20 Season Tickets can do so by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com. Single Game Tickets are available for purchase at the FedExForum Box Office, ticketmaster.com, online at grizzlies.com or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX.