Postgame Report: Grizzlies fall to the Pelicans 118-109
Key Stat of the Night
- After shooting 8-17 (.471) in the first half from behind the three point line, the Grizzlies shot 3-16 (.188) from deep in the second half and finished 13-39 (.333) on the game behind the arc.
Key Run of the Night
- Trailing 17-23 with 3:56 left in the first quarter, Memphis closed out the frame on a 16-8 run to take a 33-31 lead.
The Memphis Grizzlies fall to the New Orleans Pelicans 118-109 on Saturday night inside Smoothie King Center.
Memphis got off to a slow start on the offensive end with the Pelicans jumping out to a 10-3 lead with (8:20) left in the first quarter. After starting 0-of-5, Memphis finished the quarter 7-of-8 from 3-point range. After missing five games, Jonas Valanciunas scored 13 of his 23 points in the opening period and gave Memphis a 33-31 lead to end the first. Both the Grizzlies (7-of-13) and Pelicans (5-of-10) shot 50 percent from 3-point range. The Grizzlies continued to build their led and went on a 22-8 run to start the second quarter and expand to a 49-39 lead with (6:17) remaining. Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 10 points in the quarter and after a 11-0 run brought New Orleans within one, 60-59 with (:22) left in the period. Memphis pulled and led 61-60 at the end of the first half.
The Grizzlies and Pelicans went back and forth to start the third quarter with neither team jumping out ahead. Zion Williamson led the Pelicans with 12 of his 29 points in the period. Memphis led by one at the end of the quarter, 91-90. Both teams finished the quarter with 30 points. Grizzlies started the fourth on a 11-2 run with (7:19) left in the game to take a 102-95 lead. Eric Bledsoe and his 11-point quarter propelled a 21-5 run with (:57) left. New Orleans continued to pick up their defensive intensity to end the game and pulled out ahead to beat the Grizzlies 118-109.
Valanciunas led the Grizzlies with 23 points (9-11 FG, 2-2 3P) and seven rebounds off the bench. Kyle Anderson finished the night with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists. Anderson surpassed his NBA career-high for 3-point makes in a season with 25 3PM in 18 games compared to 24 3PM in 67 games last season. Ja Morant contributed 16 points and nine assists. Eight different Grizzlies scored made a 3-pointer. Grizzlies bench outscored the Pelicans 50-21. The Grizzlies fall to 9-9 for the season.
Williamson led all players with 29 points, four rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Ingram added 27 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 4 blocks. Bledsoe finished with 21 points (4-9 3P), four rebounds and five assists. Lonzo Ball went 4-of-6 from 3-point ranged and finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. The Pelicans set a new season-high with nine blocks. With a third straight win, New Orleans moves to 10-12 on the season.
The Grizzlies will travel back Memphis and face the Toronto Raptors on Monday, Feb. 8, at 7:00 p.m. inside FedExForum. Fans can watch the game on FOX Sports Southeast or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
On what the Pelicans did in the fourth quarter that made it difficult for the Grizzlies:I thought over the course of the game they (Pelicans) did a great job with their switching, their blitzing, and all the things we saw the other night. I thought there were moments in the game where we did a good job moving the ball, but we kind of lost our pace there in the fourth quarter. They forced us into some tough possessions and some tough shots. There were a couple stretches there where we had lay ups, a couple open threes. We had great looks and we had great ball movement – the plays that we want – but we just didn’t knock them down. Give the Pelicans a lot of credit in the fourth quarter. We were up one and they had great intensity defensively the whole game. We still had some good looks but didn’t make it, and credit to them. They got a couple 50/50 balls late and one possession two back-to-back offensive rebounds. They made some big-time shots. That was kind of the difference there late in the fourth quarter.
On the performance of Jonas Valančiūnas tonight:I thought JV (Jonas Valančiūnas) was big time for us tonight. He gave us great production on the offensive end, and we needed that. I thought that he got to his spots on the floor and he has been pushing the last couple days during workouts trying to prepare for this speed. You can’t recreate that. I thought he really attacked it well tonight and defensively did some good things. Obviously, his minutes will continue to go up and up as he gets back and reconditions. He was really good for us tonight.
On his relationship with Zion Williamson and how they got to where they are now:I’m proud of how we both just stuck with it. We both had different paths but the same goal. Coming from South Carolina, it’s tough to make it out and we both did, so I’m proud of that.
On building off of tonight’s loss:I feel like we competed today. Definitely a good sign after our past two games. I felt like we were able to get stops, kind of get out and run and play our basketball. Credit to New Orleans, they made nice plays towards the end of the game to allow them to come out with a win.
On how he felt playing in his first game after being out due to health and safety protocols:I felt good. My wind is still getting back but I felt good. Too bad we didn’t succeed and win but we got our next one.
On the difference between starting a game and coming off the bench:It doesn’t matter if you’re coming off the bench or if you come in as a starter, you still have to play a game and still try to win a game. I mean, you’ve got to be able to do both.
- In his first game back after five games missed due to health and safety protocols, Jonas Valančiūnas scored 23 points, one short of his season high of 24, and brought down seven rebounds, including scoring 13 points and bringing down five rebounds in the first quarter.
- Kyle Anderson scored 21 points on 8-13 (.615) shooting from the field. It was Anderson’s third 20+ point game this season. He also matched a season-high with two blocks.
- Ja Morant scored 16 points and tallied nine assists on 5-14 (.357) shooting from the field.
- Tyus Jones set a new career high with seven rebounds.