Postgame Report: Grizzlies fall to the Rockets 115-103 inside FedExForum
Key Stat of the Night
- The Rockets went for 19-45 (42.2%) from outside the arc, outshooting the Grizzlies 12-35 (34.2%).
Key Run of the Night
- The Rockets trounced the Grizzlies 23-2 over an 8:23 stretch that extended between the final 2:23 minutes of the half and into the first 6:00 minutes of the third quarter.
John Wall totaled 22 points and eight assists, and Eric Gordon recorded 20 points as the Houston Rockets defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, 115-103, at FedExForum.
Both teams entered tonight coming off road losses that ended season-high winning streaks. Memphis had won seven straight games before a 134-116 loss Tuesday at Indiana. Houston won six in a row before a loss Wednesday in Oklahoma City.
The Rockets, who made a franchise-record 28 3-pointers Monday at Oklahoma City but shot just 26 percent from long range in a rematch with the Thunder Wednesday, made 19-of-45 from beyond the arc against the Grizzlies with 10 players hitting at least one triple. Memphis shot just 12-of-35 from deep (.343).
Desmond Bane tied a career high with 16 points off the bench while reserve guard Tyus Jones added 13 points and eight assists off the bench to lead the Grizzlies. Memphis, which entered tonight as the league leader in bench points per game (42.3) got 52 from the second unit tonight, the fourth consecutive game the bench recorded at least 50 points. Ja Morant added 15 points.
Rockets rookie forward Jae’Sean Tate tallied 12 of his career-high 19 points in the second quarter, guiding Houston to a 33-20 edge in the frame and a 60-47 halftime lead. Houston scored the final nine points of the first half and opened the second half on a 14-2 run to take a 25-point advantage, the Rockets’ largest of the night.
Grizzlies rookie forward/center Xavier Tillman Sr. grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds in his fifth consecutive start.
Memphis travels to New Orleans for a meeting with the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6. Fans can watch the game on FOX Sports Southeast or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
On the Rockets’ shooting:I thought the Rockets played great tonight. I thought it was a combination of a couple things. I thought they took a lot of one-on-one dribble threes and some threes that you want to live with. They hit some tough shots and (scored) some second chance points off offensive rebounds. Then our inability to keep them in front created a lot of rotations. So give them a lot of credit. They moved the ball around. They played really well tonight.
On the fans (1,762 announced attendance):It was definitely a different energy. It was a positive energy; it was great. What a warm welcome during introductions. Over the course of the game, you could just feel the energy in the gym. We made our run in the second half, they were kind of picking up our spirits. So they were awesome. We are very excited to have our fans back in the building in this safe environment that we have created here for them. Hopefully they enjoyed it and we definitely missed them.
On shot selection:Nothing demands major adjustments. I thought they (Rockets) did a good job defensively. We still racked up 28 assists. I thought we missed a lot of great looks, a lot of kick-out threes, a lot of floaters that we normally make, finishes at the rim. They played a physical style. They kind of put us in some tough spots at some times. But I thought for the most part, we kept battling. They switch a lot. We got great looks that we missed and I definitely think we can improve our offense when teams switch and play with more force and get the ball moving a bit more. But overall
On playing in front of fans:It was great. The starting lineups, everyone got their names called out and I looked over to [Head Coach Taylor Jenkins] and said, ‘This is new.’ We both kind of chuckled. It’s my first time playing in these kinds of fans at home and it was good.
On improvements in his game thus far:Just learning the nuances of the game. The defensive principles and things like that. I still want to continue to improve in that area. I feel like I can bring more on that end of the floor. Just getting comfortable in our offense and what coach wants from us.
On improvements for the next game:We just have to be better defensively. Guarding your yard and keeping your man in front of you, mano y mano. Regardless of how we are shooting the ball, we have to be able to defend. That has to be our consistent thing we can hang our hat on and tonight we weren’t good enough.
On being back home in Indiana on Feb. 2:It was great being able to be home. A lot of people from my hometown and across Indiana were able to watch me play. I was able to see them from a distance afterward. It’s always great to be able to be home. I wish we could have got a win. That would have been the icing on the cake, but it’s ok. We will continue to battle and continue to get better. It’s two games. It’s a long season. Flush it out. We are going to be on our way to New Orleans tomorrow. Looking forward to another opportunity.
On the Rockets’ defense:They were switching screens and doing things a little differently than other teams we have seen. We have seen switches in stretches, but Houston likes to do that through the entirety of the game. I think it kind of just through our rhythm off and we never really just got in rhythm.
On playing in front of fans:You could definitely feel a different atmosphere, different environment, just more energy, something we’re more used to. It was nice to see fans in the stands and have that energy to play off of.
On being longtime teammates with Gorgui Dieng (in Minnesota and now Memphis):We have a good chemistry. We have a good bond, played lots of minutes together, had lots of game reps, so that always comes in handy. We try to use it to the best of our advantage. A lot of stuff comes easy. I know his game; he knows my game. We just try to make it work, try to use it to the best of our advantage.
On the Grizzlies’ defensive struggles:I’m not sure what it was the last couple games. We’ll have to take a look at the film and figure it out. Offensively, we know we can score points, we know we can put the ball in the basket. Winning games comes on the defensive end for us and we see what happens when we’re not locked in on that side of the ball. We have to figure it out. We have to be a little more locked in, contain a little bit better, just stay sharp on the little things and kind of get back to letting our defense carry us.
On his recent offensive success:Shots starting to fall. I’m trying to take my shots with confidence and not think about it. I was pressing a little bit early in the year trying to make shots. Just shots starting to fall. Teammates are trusting me, and continue to help me get open looks. I have to do my part and knock them down and shoot them with confidence.
- Desmond Bane tied a career high with 16 points off the bench.
- Tyus Jones added 13 points and eight assists off the bench.
- Xavier Tillman Sr. grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds in his fifth consecutive start.
- John Wall totaled 22 points and eight assists in 28 minutes.
- Eric Gordon recorded 20 points and five rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes of play.
- Jae’Sean Tate tallied 12 of his career-high 19 points in the second quarter.