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Postgame Report: Grizzlies grind out win over Pelicans
The Memphis Grizzlies snapped a two-game losing streak and earned their first win of the 2018 calendar year, defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 105-102 on Wednesday night at FedExForum.
The trio of Tyreke Evans, Marc Gasol and JaMychal Green combined for 69 points as the Grizzlies held off a fourth quarter rally from the Pelicans. Evans led the way for the Grizzlies with 28 points (10-24 FG, 2-6 3P), including the final two free throws with 5.9 seconds remaining. Gasol added 21 points, 10 rebounds and a team-high seven assists while also stealing the ball from DeMarcus Cousins with 7.0 seconds remaining. Green was one-point shy of tying his season best in both scoring and rebounding, finishing with with 20 points and 14 rebounds for his fourth double-double this season.
It marked the second time this season the Grizzlies had three 20-point scorers in the same game.
Cousins led New Orleans with 29 points and eight rebounds, snapping a six-game streak with 10-or-more boards, which was tied for the longest active streak in the league. E’Twaun Moore scored 16 points. Rajon Rondo chipped in with 14 points and Jrue Holiday finished with 12 points.
After the Pelicans scored 38 points in the first quarter, they were held to 32 total over the next two frames. New Orleans scored only nine points in the third quarter, a Grizzlies’ opponent low for any quarter this season.
The Grizzlies led 77-70 entering the third quarter, but New Orleans scored 19 points in the opening six-and-a-half minutes of the final frame to tie the game at 89 with 5:31 remaining. Cousins made a trio of three-pointers during that span.
The Pelicans fell to 3-3 this season without Anthony Davis, who was sidelined with a sprained right ankle.
Memphis outrebounded New Orleans 50-40 including 19 boards in the second quarter amidst a 15-2 run.
The Grizzlies will shoot for consecutive wins as they travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets Friday night at 8 p.m. CT. Tune in to FOX Sports Southeast presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
Key Stats of the Night
- New Orleans scored 38 points in the first quarter and 32 points in the fourth period but totaled just 32 points in the second and third quarters combined… The Pelicans recorded just nine points (4-17 FG, 1-9 3P, 0-4 FT) in the third frame, a Grizzlies opponent low for any quarter this season.
Key Run of the Night
- With the Pelicans trailing by one point, Marc Gasol stole the ball from DeMarcus Cousins with 7.0 seconds left in the game… Tyreke Evans sank both free throws on the other end to give the Grizzlies a 105-102 lead with 5.9 seconds remaining, and E’Twaun Moore missed a potential game-tying three-pointer as the clock expired.
- After scoring just nine points in the third quarter, New Orleans scored 19 points in the first six-and-a-half minutes of the fourth period… Cousins made a trio of three-pointers in this stretch, the last of which tied the game at 89 with 5:31 remaining in the game.
- Memphis scored nine straight points to take an eight-point lead (73-65) with 6:52 left in the third quarter and led 77-70 entering the fourth quarter after holding New Orleans to nine total third-quarter points.
On getting the win:
Everything feels better after you win, but again for the way our guys competed, the way they got after it… We had that lull in the fourth quarter. They make that run. Very easily we could have been like, ‘Oh no, here goes another one.’ And they didn’t. They found a way to scrap out a win. That’s who we’ve become, but it hasn’t necessarily shown itself in the win-loss column, but we’ve continued to fight. We fought back tonight. We just made the one more play that we needed to make.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On JaMychal Green and the last possession of the game:
JaMychal (Green) was assertive. I think that’s who he can be at this moment. That’s who we need him to be. I think J-Mike sometimes has so much respect for his teammates that he plays that role for us, right? Which he’s really good at. With the injury bug and the guys that we’re missing, we need him to be that guy. The talent is there. We’re not asking him to do anything that’s out of the ordinary for him. His effort on the glass and offensive boards was unbelievable. His defensive effort – again, (DeMarcus) Cousins was awesome – I think that was the difference in the game for us. That last play, when Cousins is in the game and he has the ball, you can expect him to try to make the play. JaMychal started on him, and Marc (Gasol) used his intelligence, put himself between Cousins and the basket. You hope, or try to force somebody else to have to beat you, because you know he’s obviously capable. You have to give Marc a ton of credit, compliment to his basketball IQ and being able to play in a big moment.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On not fouling on the last possession in a three-point game:
With the time on the clock and the way those guys push it, sometimes it’s a little dangerous. They get into that shot if you’re not there automatically, and those guys are quick. They catch that thing on the move… sometimes it’s hard to wrap him up. We trusted in our defense. You over-helped a little bit, which created a wide open shot. We’ll take it.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On the win:
I hope it confirms that when you play as a team like we played in the third quarter. Defensively, I thought the second was better. The first quarter was what we don’t want to do. We let them dictate and run all their offense and exactly what they wanted to do in every play. I thought that we came out in the second quarter much more physical and disruptive. That allowed us to run. That gave us confidence and trust to share the ball offensively. Third quarter was really good and fourth quarter was—we had a little lead, we made a couple mistakes. It made it a tight game, I don’t know if they went ahead, but I think we got enough stops at the end to give our offense a little oxygen and get away with a win.-- Marc Gasol
On the last defensive sequence:
It was a risky play because I know [Darius] Miller is a shooter, but once I saw him put his head down and not really see it, I saw a chance to do it and it paid off.-- Marc Gasol
On DeMarcus Cousins:
He’s doing a great job of shooting the ball. He’s shooting amazingly, high rate, high percentage from there and at the same time when he shoots it from the post. He does a great job with using his body and moving around in different places. He’s a good player.-- Marc Gasol
On if practicing with JaMychal Green helped with their performances tonight:
I think practice always help. Practice always cleans up a lot of stuff. I thought that it was hard because they were hard practices. We talked about it was kind of a mini-camp for us, but it was much-needed. Obviously, in the month of December, we had so many games and so little time to practice. Once you have that little window to practice, you have to take advantage of it. Obviously, there’s the downside where you might be a little tired and you might be a little gassed, but it’s complete worth it and needed.-- Marc Gasol
On playing more aggressive offensively in the fourth quarter:
The guys did a great job of finding me and making sure that I got the ball in the right spot. We were patient. I thought that we had more movement and that allows us to be more proactive instead of reactive to the things that they try to do to us. It was good. I think defensively, we did a really good job.-- Marc Gasol
- Tyreke Evans led Memphis with 28 points (10-24 FG, 2-6 3P, 6-7 FT), his 21st game this season with at least 20 points… Evans has paced the Grizzlies in scoring 19 times this season, including eight of the team’s last nine contests.
- Marc Gasol made all five of his shot attempts in the first half and finished with 21 points (8-14 FG, 1-3 3P, 4-6 FT), 10 rebounds and seven assists… Gasol recorded his 17th double-double of the season (11 double-doubles in 74 games in 2016-17).
- JaMychal Green (20 points, 14 rebounds) recorded his fourth double-double of the season and first since December 13 at Washington… Green, who was one point and one rebound shy of tying his season highs in each category, posted his first 20-10 game of the season (fourth career).
- DeMarcus Cousins totaled 29 points (6-15 FG, 5-8 3P, 12-17 FT) and eight rebounds to lead New Orleans… Cousins, who entered the game with 30 double-doubles (second in the NBA behind Karl-Anthony Towns), was held without a double-double for just the 10th time this season… Cousins came into tonight having snagged at least 10 rebounds in six straight games, which was tied (with Towns) for the NBA’s longest active streak.