MEMvMIN: Grind City Rewind 12.4.17
MEMvMIN: playlist 12.4.17
Postgame Cleanup: Grizzlies snap losing streak with win over T’Wolves
The Postgame Cleanup is brought to you by ServiceMaster. The Memphis Grizzlies snapped their 11-game losing streak, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 95 to 92 Monday night at FedExForum.
After 12 lead changes through the first three quarters, the Grizzlies led 76-75 going into the fourth quarter. Memphis had tied or trailed their opponents heading into the final period in all 11 games throughout its losing skid. The Grizzlies outscored the Timberwolves in second change points 12-6 and fast break points 24-8 including a 18-2 edge in the first half.
Marc Gasol led Memphis with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists, tallying his ninth 20-point game of the season. Tyreke Evans contributed 16 points and nine assists. JaMychal Green added 14 and James Ennis III finished with 13 off the bench. The Grizzlies bench outscored the Timberwolves 33-17 and improve to 8-12 when outscoring their opponent’s bench.
The Timberwolves got a strong start behind guard Jimmy Butler, who scored their first seven points of the game and posted 17 of his game-high 30 points at the half. Taj Gibson added 14, and Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague posted 12 apiece. Karl Anthony Towns contributed 7 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, only the sixth time this season he has been held without a double-double.
The Grizzlies will hit the road as they take on the New York Knicks this Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. CT at Madison Square Garden. Tune in to FOX Sports Southeast presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN for all the action.
Key Stats of the Night
- Memphis snapped an 11-game losing streak, its longest since a 12-game skid from January 6-31, 2009, and earned its first win since November 7 at Portland.
Key Run of the Night
- Neither team led by more than one possession in the final 8:41 of game time… Marc Gasol scored on a cutting dunk off a pass from Tyreke Evans with 3:25 remaining to give Memphis a three-point lead (93-90)… Jimmy Butler made a pair of free throws to cut the Grizzlies’ lead to one with 1:37 left, but Minnesota missed its final three shot attempts and committed what was just its ninth turnover of the game, as Memphis held on for its first win since November 7.
On the young players on the team
That’s who Dillon (Brooks) is. We’ve seen it time and time again this year. Even in the preseason, whenever there was a matchup to be had, Dillon would find his way to that matchup. He’s competitive, he dogging in his defensive ways, and he’s just not going to back down. So everything you get against him, you’re just going to have to earn it. And then Andrew Harrison was unbelievable on the ball. They ran screens to try and get Jimmy Butler free, and Andrew did a great job of wedging through and forced him into taking that tough shot at the end. And then, they knew their guys were behind them and that’s when you can defend that way. You can put that pressure on the ball when you trust your teammates are behind you.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On the mood in the locker room after the win
There was a lot of energy in the locker room to say the least. It’s been a while, you almost forgot what it felt like to win because guys want it so bad and they’re so emotionally invested. Every loss that kept popping up became a heavier and heavier weight. So, it’s awesome for those guys in that locker room. They’ve stuck with it, they’ve gone through tough times, but they’ve continued to believe in themselves and each other. Tonight was a great reward for them, but like we said in the locker room, this is not where we want to be. This is just one of many. We’re still building, we’re still digging, and we’ll continue to do that.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On Andrew Harrison progressing
I think his aggression and his confidence. It’s amazing what guys can do when they believe in themselves and when their teammates are picking them up. We can go into all the numbers and analytics, but they can’t put a formula on all of that. Drew is living proof of it. He’s been given an opportunity, and he’s taken advantage of that opportunity. You’ve got to respect a guy like that. He was in the doghouse for a while. He was given DNPs but the opportunity came, he did all of the things that he needed to do to prepare, he kept working and this is the fruits of it.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On the win
It feels great. It was the biggest regular-season win that I have ever been a part of, and we’re going to build on it. Obviously it wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t perfect, but it was [done] together, and that’s something you can build on. You can correct some of the mistakes through communication. I thought the effort was there, and you could see it. Sometimes you see it where we give too much effort, over-rotate, over-help. But you can see [that] switches kind of flipped on some guys [tonight]. They played with a little more confidence. You see guys shooting with a little more confidence, and we have got to continue it.-- Marc Gasol
On the effort defensively down the stretch
It won the game for us. Offensively, we could have done a couple things to execute better. I thought we kind of rushed some of the actions and didn’t get the ball where we wanted it. But defensively, that’s what was great, and that’s why we won the game. I thought that the last play, actually, you saw the effort that guys had. You know, switch or no switch, show or no show, everybody stayed up. And that shot looked like it was going to the backboard and in, and thankfully it was short and we got away with the game. So that means a lot to us, and hopefully a lot of guys get more confidence out of this, and me too. And really, I thank the fans for their support. For them to support us through those 11 games shows us what kind of fans we have. I’m really appreciative of that. It doesn’t go unnoticed.-- Marc Gasol
On what’s most important to the team building consistency
Effort. I thought that for the last three games [before this one], let’s say the last 16 quarters including this one, we played really good for 14 quarters effort-wise. I thought that we really had that mindset of ‘The effort has to be there. That has got to be the consistent thing.’ And then when that is there, you can now start worrying about, ‘Okay, you show here and switch here.’ You know, we can talk about Xs and Os, but you can’t really coach effort. The guys have got to bring it, and that’s on players to do it, and not have so many excuses like we always do. And I thought for the most part, almost 90 percent of those 16 quarters have been great.-- Marc Gasol
On where his competitive edge comes from
You know, I’m just trying to play against the best and learn. When I was at Oregon, I was an offensive juggernaut, but right now, we have guys who are already like that, and I want to have a role on this team, and that’s guarding the best players from the beginning to the end. I love the challenge, and I want to gain that aspect of my game.-- Dillon Brooks
On his teammates’ leadership during the losing streak
Most of the guys just say, ‘Stick with it.’ I’m new to losing that many games. In a college season, there’s not as many games that are being played. I just always stuck through it, stuck with my routine, not sticking with that losing mentality and just trying to fight through it.-- Dillon Brooks
- Marc Gasol led Memphis with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes… Gasol tallied his ninth 20-point game of the season.
- Tyreke Evans registered 16 points and nine assists one game after recording his second career game with at least 30 points and 10 assists (31 points and a season-high 12 assists on December 2 at Cleveland).
- Andrew Harrison had eight points (2-2 FG, 1-1 3P, 3-4 FT) off the bench… Harrison is shooting 13-of-22 from the field (.591) and 5-of-6 from three-point range (.833) in four games under Grizzlies interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff.
- Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 30 points (11-21 FG, 2-7 3P, 6-7 FT), including 17 in the first half… He recorded 33 points, his first career 30-point game with the Timberwolves, last night against the Los Angeles Clippers.
- Karl-Anthony Towns had seven points and a game-high 11 rebounds, only the sixth time this season he has been held without a double-double… Towns entered the game leading the NBA in double-doubles (19)… The only players in Timberwolves franchise history to lead the league in double-doubles over the course of a season are Kevin Love (twice) and Kevin Garnett (five times).