MEMvHOU: Postgame press conference 1.14.20
MEMvHOU: playlist 1.14.20
Postgame Report: Grizzlies top Rockets 121-110, win sixth consecutive game
Key Stat of the Night
- Memphis outscored Houston 36-27 in the fourth quarter to help seal the Grizzlies’ season-high sixth consecutive victory. The Grizzlies shot 52.2 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from three-point range in the final quarter of play to earn their longest winning streak since Dec. 1-10, 2016.
- Ja Morant led the way for the Grizzlies with 11 of his 26 points coming in the fourth quarter, where he was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field and 2-of-2 from three.
Key Run of the Night
- The game was knotted at 95-95 with 7:40 remaining in the fourth quarter following a three-pointer from Rockets’ guard Eric Gordon. The Grizzlies would respond with an 11-1 run, as they stretched their fourth-quarter lead to 106-96 following an alley-oop slam from De’Anthony Melton with 5:05 to play. The Grizzlies’ lead would never drop below six following the run as Memphis picked up the 11-point victory.
The Memphis Grizzlies extended their season-long winning streak to six games as they defeated the Houston Rockets 121-110 on Tuesday night inside FedExForum. The Grizzlies offense scored over 110 points for the 12th consecutive game as Memphis matched their longest win streak since 2016.
The Rockets were able to strike first as they used a 17-4 run to grab an early 11-point lead. Houston’s offense was sparked by James Harden who tallied 17 points in the opening quarter. Houston finished the first quarter with a 37-32 lead as they shot 63.2 percent from the field to begin the game. Memphis’ offense caught fire in the second quarter, led by Jaren Jackson Jr., who scored 13 of his 15 points in the second quarter alone. Memphis capped of a 27-8 run with a Jackson Jr.’ left-handed slam to stretch their lead to 12-points at 59-47 with 6:17 remaining before half. Houston would cut into the Memphis lead late in the second quarter but the Grizzlies were able to take a 67-61 advantage into the locker room.
Memphis struggled to keep their offense clicking in the third quarter as they shot just 38.1 percent in the quarter while shooting 2-of-11 from three points range. Twelve third quarter points from Harden would help Houston trim Memphis’ lead to 87-85 heading into the fourth. The game was knotted at 95-95 with 7:40 remaining in the fourth quarter following a three-pointer from Rockets’ guard Eric Gordon. The Grizzlies would respond with 11 of the next 12 points, as they stretched their fourth quarter lead to 106-96 following a monstrous alley-oop slam from De’Anthony Melton with 5:05 to play. Ja Morant led the way for the Grizzlies down the stretch, with 11 of his 26 points on the night coming in the fourth quarter, where he was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field and 2-of-2 from three. The Grizzlies lead never dropped below six points in the final five minutes as the Grizzlies improved to 19-22 on the season.
Morant tallied 26 points, eight assists and five rebounds in 37 minutes of play to lead the Grizzlies. Morant shot 10-of-11 from the floor, including a career-high tying 3-of-4 from three-point range, becoming the first rookie in NBA history to record 25+ points and 8+ assists while shooting 90%+ from the field. Jackson Jr. totaled 15 points to go with three steals and two blocks. With two three-pointers tonight, Jackson Jr. has multiple three-pointers in 13 straight games, tying the all-time franchise record (Mike Miller, 2006-07). Dillon Brooks totaled 24 points (8-17 FG, 6-10 3P) to go along with four rebounds and three assists as the Grizzlies moved to a perfect 12-0 on the season when Brooks scores 20+ points. Brandon Clarke added 14 points, a team-leading seven rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes to lead the Grizzlies bench.
James Harden led the Rockets with 41 points, six rebounds and six assists on the night. However, Memphis was able to limit Harden to 13-of-37 from the field and 5-of-19 from deep. Clint Capela collected a double-double for Houston with 16 points and 16 rebounds in 33 minutes of action. Eric Gordon scored a game-high 23 points off the bench as he knocked down four three-pointers. Ben McLemore chipped in 14 points and three rebounds as the Rockets dropped to 26-13 on the season.
The Grizzlies will look to extend their winning streak to seven games as they host the Cleveland Cavaliers inside FedExForum on Friday, January 17 at 7 p.m. Fans can get their tickets at grizzlies.com/tickets and come out to support the team, watch the game on FOX Sports Southeast or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
On tonight’s game:What a game. Credit to both teams, that was high-level basketball. Yet again for our guys to find a way there in the fourth quarter to come away with a big victory. Obviously first quarter [James] Harden got going – free throw line, hitting some threes. Our guys were executing the game plan but just over the course of the game as we started addressing that, getting a little bit more aggressive. Unbelievable job individually on Harden. So many guys whether it was isolations, pick and rolls, small, bigs on him but then our (help defense) was unbelievable as our second, third quarters unfolded. Fourth quarter I think he only made three free throws and was 0-for-7 from the field. That is a team effort right there. Unbelievable job by our guys taking on the individual challenge and then our team defense really got going there in the second, third and fourth quarters. Obviously, their defense tightened up in the third quarter, we missed some shots that (we) normally (don’t), but their physicality kind of bothered us a little bit but we got out a run in the fourth quarter even despite losing a lead that we had going in on the fourth. They went on a run, hit some threes, we just got back to being disciplined and aggressive. That is what it came down to, these guys trusting the habits being aggressive on the ball, staying disciplined, trusting their teammates is a huge win for us.
On not substituting Ja Morant out in the fourth quarter:Ja is the ultimate competitor. He understands when he is in and out of the game. Obviously I made the call to roll with him. He was making a huge impact not just on the offensive end but defensively, executing solid coverages. Our team started rotating great on Harden’s drives and we got boards, getting him the ball and get down running. He made some high-level decisions late in the game with a lot of different coverages with a lot of different match ups thrown at him. Credit to him but obviously with a big game like this we know we have the confidence that he is going to come through in the clutch.
On Jaren Jackson Jr.:I thought especially in the fourth quarter when we sparked that run, he was at the five and we were going and switching defense, we were trying to influence (James) Harden to drive a little bit more and trust our team defense. He was huge, his shifts early in the first quarter, our bigs even our some of smalls weren’t super active on Harden’s drives, he was getting layups and floaters but to come up with big-time blocks and come up with a few steals there. The growth that he is showing with a defensive identity, he starts the game back in center field, as the game goes on we are getting him up and switching, he is guarding smaller guys out there he was super-effective for us. Struggled a little early getting the shots to fall but just kept plugging away. His teammates found him he got hot there, those were some big buckets, as you pointed out his defense in the fourth quarter was huge for us.
On being halfway through the season:I super proud of the guys. Coming in to this on our first year I never really wanted to put a schedule on it. I didn’t want paint myself or this group into a box and just really focus on if we are competing, are we playing unselfish, are we getting better. We have been competing since Day 1. We have been playing unselfish, and it was a struggle early, but we have gotten progressively better. Individually, collectively, the guys are getting confident in the offense. I think all the work that they are putting in is translating to our success on the offensive end. The (assists) have been there, they have been escalating because the guys are getting comfortable and continuing to play off of each other. Our defense is trending in the right direction. The fact that these guys compete every day – it isn’t even every game it is every day. These guys come in and they embrace their mentality, it’s been a the forefront, so the be at the midway mark and to be 41 games in, we don’t even look at the records and we just focus on what are our habit and our habits were tested tonight. Can we be that aggressive, disciplined, and unselfish team? We took huge steps, each game that we take, these last couple of weeks this last month, we are seeing some big time growth individually and that just translates into the teams growth.
On tonight’s game:A lot of fun. It’s always fun to win.
On tonight’s game being on NBA TV:It’s a boost for us, being able to play on TV. Our focus wasn’t playing on TV, we were just focusing on going out and winning that game. We got it done on TV. It was special. Got the win. We’ll take it.
On the Grizzlies’ offensive performance:Just how much we’re growing. We know how much everybody wants to score the ball on the floor now and it’s helping us on offense. We’re driving. If we know someone wants to crash, we set it up for them. If we know someone likes to shoot the ball, we’re attacking that and getting them open to shoot it. It’s just credit to our team, coaching staff and us working all the time together.
On the pace of tonight’s game:We like to get out in transition, especially me. I feel like we’re dangerous on the floor when we have everybody who can run the floor, from the first man to the last. Going in, we’re just talking to each other trying to make them miss, just getting out and pushing. We were able to pull it out.
On how much fun he is having:I’m having a lot of fun, enjoying every bit of it. Thankful and grateful to even be here to play for Memphis in front of this crowd with these guys. It’s a blessing.
On winning at home:It’s definitely special in front of the home crowd, just to see them get excited, see them get hype. All the energy was great. Every time there was a timeout, they were hype. Every time there was a dead ball and the music was going, you could hear it, you could see them standing up and getting loud.
On being a fearless young team:The whole game was intense from the jump, just keying in on James [Harden] and trying to make him uncomfortable. It’s definitely intense when you’re going up against a player like that. Just tried to stay consistent with the game plan.
On if this game felt different:Every game is a statement game at this point because you’re playing for seeding, playing for the playoffs. Everybody is trying to work towards that, but definitely, when you’re on a winning streak it gives you a little bit more energy to go out there and continue it and try not to lose it.
On the fast pace of the game:Playing hard is all we know. We don’t want to come in here and say we didn’t play hard. At the end of the game, in terms of pace, we can sustain it, it’s just a matter of habit. If you’re doing it on both ends, you’re in a rhythm of playing hard and just going fast.
On what played into tonight’s win:Determination and teamwork. We stayed together and played team defense. On our offense, we played team offense. We were just moving the ball. Ja [Morant] had a spectacular game. We were just feeding of that kind of energy. Other than that, we were just locked in.
On stopping James Harden in the second half of the fourth quarter:Team defense—he’s a great player so it’s hard to stop him, but you’ve got four other guys out there. We were just all locking in and all trying to get the win.
- Ja Morant tallied 26 points, eight assists and five rebounds in 37 minutes of play. Morant finished 10-of-11 from the floor, including a career-high tying 3-of-4 from three-point range. This marked Morant’s 15th game of at least 20 points this season.
- Morant became the first rookie in NBA history to record 25-plus points and eight-plus assists while shooting at least 90 percent from the field.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. totaled 15 points while adding three steals and two blocks. With two three-pointers tonight, Jackson Jr. has now made a three-pointer in 29 consecutive games, now the second-longest streak in Grizzlies franchise history (Tyreke Evans, 31 straight games in 2017-18).
- Jackson Jr. has multiple three-pointers in 13 straight games, tying the all-time franchise record (Mike Miller, 2006-07).
- Dillon Brooks totaled 24 points (8-17 FG, 6-10 3P) to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Brooks’ six three-pointers on the night ties a season high. The Grizzlies are now a perfect 12-0 on the season when Brooks scores 20-plus points.
- Jonas Valanciunas totaled 19 points, six rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes. Valanciunas has now scored 15-or-more points in six of the last eight games.
- Brandon Clarke added 14 points, a team-leading seven rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes to lead the Grizzlies’ bench.
- James Harden totaled 41 points (13-37 FG, 5-19 3P), six rebounds and six assists to lead Houston. Houston is now 1-15 this season when harden scores 40-or-more points.
- Clint Capela recorded a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds for Houston.
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.