Postgame Report: Grizzlies explode in second half to topple Magic 92-75
Key Stat of the Night
- The Grizzlies allowed only 15 points in the third quarter, which ties the least points the team has given up in a single quarter this season. (2/10/21 vs. CHA)… The 21-point margin ties the Grizzlies’ highest single quarter margin of victory in any quarter this season.
Key Run of the Night
- The Grizzlies parlayed a high-flying Ja Morant windmill alley-oop at the end of the second quarter into momentum as they came out of the tunnel in the second half energized, ripping off a 41-8 start to the second half; leading to an 82-58 advantage with 10:43 to play in the game.
It was a tale of two halves for the Memphis Grizzlies as they came back to beat the Orlando Magic 92-75 on Friday night inside FedExForum.
Dillon Brooks led the Grizzlies with 20 points to go with two rebounds, two assists and one steal. Jonas Valančiūnas returned to his double-double ways with 14 points and 15 rebounds and Kyle Anderson added 13 points, six rebounds and two assists while tying his season high with three blocks .Ja Morant filled the box score with eight points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals while Brandon Clarke shot 4-for-6 for nine points, three rebounds and two steals.
Cole Anthony tallied 15 points and six rebounds while Mo Bamba turned in a 15 point, 11 rebound double-double off the bench for the Magic.
The Grizzlies came out hot in the first quarter with a quick 10-0 run but went cold offensively as the Magic took a 20-19 lead at the end of a slow first period. Memphis shot 29 percent while Orlando shot 30 percent from the field.
The Magic looked to extend their lead in the second quarter as the Grizzlies struggled to find the bottom of the net. Orlando stretched the lead to nine until the Grizzlies pushed back at the end of the quarter. Brooks found Morant on the fast break for a windmill alley-oop to bring the score to 43-39 with Orlando leading at the half.
The Grizzlies flipped the switch in the third quarter with a 34-9 run to take the lead and build a commanding lead. The run carried over into the fourth quarter until the Grizzlies had a commanding 24-point lead at 82-58. The Grizzlies led by at least 13 points the rest of the way.
Memphis held Orlando to 75 points on 31.4 percent shooting, the least points scored by an opponent this season.
The Grizzlies will look to sweep the season series as they visit the Magic inside the Amway Center on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. Fans can watch the game on Bally Sports Southeast or tune in to 92.9 FM ESPN
On the third quarter:I thought our defense was consistent all night for four quarters. Our guys had great effort, great energy, great attention to detail. We made just one minor adjustment at halftime. I thought that was executed very well. And then we just talked about maintaining our spirit and our energy out there in the second half. You know, not getting deflated. I thought we had tons of great looks in the first half, wide-open threes, finishes in the paint, all shots that we normally finish and for 48 minutes, outside of that third quarter. It was a challenge, obviously scoring, but I thought we played the right way on offense. We still ended up with 20 fast break points, we had 25 assists, so the ball was moving. We were finding the open guy and getting open looks, they just weren’t falling at the rate that you would expect or hope for. But I thought our guys maintained their energy and had great defensive focus that allowed us to get the big victory tonight.
On turning it around at the half:We just addressed a couple things in pick-and-roll. You know, how to manage their pick-and-rolls a little differently, and I’ll go as far as that. We play these guys tomorrow.
On shooting in the first half:Honestly, just missing open looks. We charted it. We went back, we had tons of wide-open shots at the rim, in the paint, we had wide open threes. We had great looks, they just weren’t falling and you could feel the energy kind of getting sucked out a little bit, but we just addressed it at halftime. We showed them the clips and said here’s the pace that we’ve got to replicate, get more of that through our defensive activity and offensively keep taking these looks. We were getting wide open looks, and these guys stayed the course for 48 minutes, and I’m glad that they were able to break through and have a really good third quarter there.
On Ja Morant’s energy:It took a lot out of us. Our guys were battling, they’re fighting and to make that run, it definitely took a lot of energy. Because, I thought, as I said, for 48 minutes we were giving a lot of great juice on the defensive end, so trying to find that balance of getting the great defensive activity and getting out running on offense, it takes a little out of you. But I thought despite him not scoring at a high rate like he’s used to recently, I thought he managed the game really well, moved the ball around. I know he only had six assists, but he could’ve had even more with great ball movement and good defensive activity. So, all of our guys, we can look up and down and be like, ‘Hey, we can play better offense and we definitely will, but we played the right way on both sides of the floor.’ And that’s what was able to get us the victory.
On if he will change anything for tomorrow’s game:No, I thought we had great defensive edge, and just keep playing the right way on offense. We’ll go back and watch the film and find ways where we can get better. I thought the adjustments in the second half, as minor as they were, were good for us, but I think the biggest thing is that I thought offensively we played really well, just shots didn’t fall. So, just don’t change anything and we’ll see if anything else stands out.
On consistently turning the game around in the third quarter:I think it’s a credit to our group. I’ve said it a number of times, depending on whatever happens in the first half, good basketball or struggling basketball, we’re up or we’re down, it doesn’t matter. Our guys are able to just kind of take a moment there, regroup physically, mentally, talk about the things that we need to reemphasize or new things that we need to emphasize, and go out and execute it usually pretty well and consistently all season long. So, I think it’s a product of our guys really embracing a time to recollect and get better for the last 24 minutes of the game.
On how Coach Jenkins has installed confidence:"I think Coach Jenkins does a great job. Like tonight, obviously it wasn't our night shooting the ball. I think we shot 34 percent or something like that as a team from the floor. He's telling us were getting great looks just to keep shooting. He's got faith in us. That's huge to hear that type of positivity from your coach on a night in and night out basis."
On Ja Morant's dunk and energy push the team in the 3rd quarter:"I think that's huge. Ja is obviously a special athlete and when he's in the game he can push the pace and do some dynamic things, and that's kind of what we were lacking in the first half. Just playing a little slow. Just you know, coming out slow. In the second half we turned it up and played much better."
On the team's chemistry:"No question. I think that's something you can hang your hat on. We've been able to hang our hat on throughout the season. Regardless of rotations, minutes, who you're out there with. You're out there to guard first and foremost. I think we did a good job of that tonight holding them to around 30 percent shooting as well. When you can do that, you're going to win a lot of ball games, especially this time of the year."
On the playoff race and if it matters what the wins look like:"Exactly. That's been the case the whole year long. Let’s just win games and however we do it, we do it. Go back look at the film, build off of it. But a win is a win, and we're definitely happy to get this one and hopefully we can get another one tomorrow."
On excitement about playoffs:"Just even keel. We obviously know what's at stake. We know what we're playing for, but level headed through it all. We don't go to change anything that we've been doing, and we've putting ourselves in a great position up until this point. So just continue to stick together and do what we do and whatever happens, happens."
On halftime and coaching staff turns :"I think it points to experience. As a young guy, especially when I was in college and even at times in this level, sometimes you just catch yourself in a funk and your energy is not right, not there. Experienced guys and guys who care passionately about the game are able to turn that around. You know coach really preaches to us, it's 24 minutes and there's another 24 minutes to play a better half of basketball. That's what we've been doing, and that's what we did tonight."
On Coach Jenkins:I think that coach does a great job of letting us play through mistakes offensively. He knows that we have good intent. He lets us be free out there. He gives us the confidence to take shots. It is kind of dope to play for a coach like that.
On the defense:I feel like it is kind of human nature to have a few good defensive games and then let your guard down and kind of slack off. But I think we were locked in mentally this game. We wanted to do well on defense so we can run out and play our game on offense.
On being in a playoff race:You can always sense after all-star break that teams are gearing up and getting ready. It is always fun to watch league pass this time of year because it is a totally different game from the beginning of the season. You have to be ready to play for 48 minutes, so we are kind of catching on to that.
On having coach’s trust:It is very good. We have to come together and figure things out sometimes. We aren’t robots out there. We have some guys that play and guys that can go. So it is pretty neat when you can get on the same page with your teammates and go out there and perform well.
On the defense:Maybe we can chalk it up to fatigue the last two games where we didn’t have good defensive games. As a player, you don’t want to do that. But sometimes you just have to take a step back and look. We had a tough road trip, a tough eight games in twelve days. We just wanted to take care of business today and not have one of those games again. Get some rest and go out there and play well on defense and offense.
On coming off of the road trip:We are so wrapped up in the game of basketball and where we are at in the season that sometimes, maybe once a week, you just have to let go of basketball and spend time with your family. Be a dad, be a brother, be a fiancé or husband or whatever you are at home. Take your mind of basketball and then the next practice or shoot around, you are locked back in. It means a lot, it is important.
On half time routines for adjustments:I want to use the time to maybe watch a few shots go in, get some shots up and get your rhythm. But I think we all do a good job of communicating on what is going on out there and then try to make adjustments. We listen to coach.
- The Memphis Grizzlies will play their final 11 regular season games over a 17-day stretch, starting with tonight’s first game of a home-and-home back-to-back with the Orlando Magic.
- Tonight was the first meeting between the Grizzlies and the Magic this season… The last time the two teams met was on March 10, 2020, at FedExForum in what was the Grizzlies’ final contest before the 2019-20 season postponement.
- The Grizzlies ended a three-game losing streak to the Magic, picking up their first win over Orlando since Mar. 10, 2019… The Magic will have a chance to even the season series on Saturday as they host the Grizzlies inside Amway Center.
- Memphis has played the NBA’s most-difficult strength of schedule to this point (.513) but will have the league’s second-easiest strength of schedule the rest of the season (.408).
- The Grizzlies forced 20 turnovers and outscored the Magic 20-9 in points off turnovers and 29-11 on fast break points… Memphis entered the game ranked inside the NBA’s top 10 in points off turnovers (18.9, 1st), percentage of total scoring off turnovers (16.6%, 3rd) and opponent turnover percentage (14.8%, T-8th).
- Memphis limited the Magic to 75 points on 31.4 percent shooting and limited Orlando to on six 3-pointers… The Magic’s 75 points are the least scored by a Grizzlies opponent this season.
- Dillon Brooks led the Grizzlies with 20 points (7-18 FG), two rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes… Memphis improved to 14-6 this season when Brooks scores 20-or-more points.
- Jonas Valanciunas returned to his double-double ways with 14 points and 15 rebounds in 27 minutes… His double-double rate (.777) would set a franchise record for a single season (Zach Randolph, .718 in 2010-11)
- Kyle Anderson added 13 points and six rebounds and two assists while tying his season high with three blocks.
- Ja Morant filled the box score with eight points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals.
- Brandon Clarke was 4-for-6 for nine points, three rebounds and two steals.
- Mo Bamba posted a double-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in 23 minutes to lead Orlando.