Chris Vernon Show - 8.17.18 pt. 2
MEM@SAC playlist 12.31.17
Postgame Cleanup: Grizzlies grind out win over Kings
The Memphis Grizzlies saw some old friends in Zach Randolph and Vince Carter and rang in the New Year with a 114-96 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
In a game full of reunions and familiar faces, it was Tyreke Evans who stood out with 26 points (10-16 FG, 5-7 3P, 1-1 FT) against Sacramento, where he played five seasons over two stints (2009-2013, 2016-17) and was named the 2009-10 NBA Rookie of the Year. Evans also totaled seven rebounds and five assists in 26 minutes for the Grizzlies, who earned their largest margin of victory this season. It was Evans’ fourth 25-point, five-rebound, five-assist performance in his last five games.
Willie Cauley-Stein had 21 points off the bench, Buddy Hield had 15 points, and Garrett Temple chipped in with 13 points. Randolph added four points and six rebounds in 18 minutes in his first game this season against his former team, which he guided to its first-ever postseason series victory in 2011 and the Western Conference Finals in 2013 during his eight seasons (2009-17) in Memphis. Carter also registered three rebounds in 15 minutes against the Grizzlies, where he played the past three seasons (2014-17).
Jarell Martin (11 points), James Ennis III (10 points), Wayne Selden Jr. (10 points) and Deyonta Davis (10 points) all reached double figures off the bench for the Grizzlies, who improved to 2-2 on their five-game road trip. Selden logged 17 minutes in his return from a 21-game absence with right quadriceps tendinopathy. Memphis’ bench totaled 64 points.
The Grizzlies will end their five-game road trip in their first game of the new year on Tuesday, Jan. 2 against the Los Angeles Clippers at 9:30 p.m. CT at the STAPLES Center. Follow the action on FOX Sports Southeast presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners on listen to the call on 92.9 FM ESPN / 680 AM.
Key Stats of the Night
- Memphis’ hot shooting carried over from the previous night when the Grizzlies shot 52.1 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from three-point range, which were both season highs, in a loss last night to the Golden State Warriors. The team shot a season-best 53.9 percent overall and 46.7 percent from the perimeter tonight.
Key Run of the Night
- The Grizzlies shot 12-of-20 from the field in the first quarter and led by as many as 16 points in the first quarter. Memphis then scored the first 10 points of the second period to open up a 24-point advantage that grew to as many as 33 in the second half.
On seeing the offense bounce back from a loss the night before
It’s been really nice. I think if you take a look at our past five games, our scoring is up, our shooting percentages are up, our assists are up and our turnovers are down. So, that’s the growth that we’ve been looking for in our offense. Last night, you play a normal team, you’ll probably win that game, right? But, for our guys not to hang their heads and continue to believe in what we’re doing, it shows the steps that we’re taking.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On liking the bounce back defensively
We can’t be a one sided team. We’ve put a lot of focus and there’s a lot of talk about our offense because it has changed a little bit and it’s grown over these past few games. But, in this league, you can’t be competitive if you don’t defend. Defensively we got to hang our hat there. Whatever happens on the offensive end, we want to execute and we want to be a good offensive team. But, when you fall back to it, the teams that survive droughts offensively are the teams that are the most consistent defensively. Our focus always has to be on the defense, but we do spend time obviously working on improving that offense.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On getting contributions from all around the floor
Tonight, I think we played 12 guys in the first half and everybody got a piece of it tonight. The way we’re built, I think there are guys that can play shorter stints and play harder and then another guy can come in, and play as hard as that first guy and we can still be as productive. We’ve got depth, it’s just a matter of us using it.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On Tyreke Evans having a revival this year
Opportunity – I think he came into the year, he had a great summer for one. We spent some time with him while he was out in LA, just watching his work and he was working his tail off. He came in in great shape and then he has an opportunity here. He’s on a mission right now. It’s not a personal mission, which is the best part about it. He’s unselfish in what he’s doing. He’s helping our team in a multitude of ways. He knows we need him to score the ball, but if you look at some of the plays and passes he’s made tonight and in the past, he’s playing for the team.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On how the offense is playing right now
It’s going good. We’re just swinging the ball, driving, attacking and finding the open guy. When we share the ball like that, we play at our best.-- Tyreke Evans
On coach being impressed with their recent defense
Yeah, we’re all just showing effort. We’re all out there playing hard no matter what team it is. We played Golden State [last night], tough team, one of the best teams in the NBA. We played hard, they made tough shots, Steph [Curry] made tough shots. But, tonight showed that we can guard.-- Tyreke Evans
On if playing against the team that drafted him gets old
“No, not really. I love playing against the team that drafted me when I come back. Most of the time I played when I came back, I played well so it’s just getting me going.”-- Tyreke Evans
On how he’s physically feeling so far this season
How does it look like I feel? Do I look like I feel good out there? I feel good too. I’m playing the best basketball I’m capable of playing. My knees not swelling up so I can move how I want and I’m just playing the game I know how to play before I got hurt.-- Tyreke Evans
On his focus coming into this season
Just staying healthy. Training – getting my body right with my trainer. I got in one of the best shapes of my career. I came back and I wanted to prove everyone wrong that I can still play.-- Tyreke Evans
On the improvement of the offense
Obviously, we’re shooting the ball better. I think ball movement has also been better – sharing the ball, moving it, using our triggers. I think our defense too. Our trust defensively has built [up] a little bit. Yesterday was not the case because they scored a lot of points. But you take that game away, Clippers, Phoenix wise and tonight, for the most part, defensively we did a better job.-- Marc Gasol
On playing with Tyreke Evans and if he played with an edge tonight
He’s had that edge the whole year. He’s had that same mentality so don’t take it like he came in here [tonight] and did something that he hasn’t done every game pretty much all year. He’s come with that aggressiveness and he’s shooting the ball tremendously. We talk for teams to decide what they want to do in bigger roles when it’s me and him. If my man doesn’t really want to help and get a body off me and if you go under he’s big enough to turn that corner or just stay behind and shoot that ball well. It’s a hard decision [for other teams] to make at that point.-- Marc Gasol
On going against Zach Randolph for the first time
“It’s special. So many things go through your head – it’s so many emotions. He’s truly a brother, it’s simple. I know we’re both in situations that we are not used to being in and we feel for each other, but when we go out there, he knows I’m not going to let him play [well]. First, I was surprised he didn’t guard me right away. But, then he guarded me a little bit and it was fun – it was fun, I can’t lie to you. It was fun and it’s always good to see him. I can’t wait to play him again because he’s always competitive. We made each other better. When we were playing together we made each other better in practice when we battled against each other. And I miss him – I miss him every day.”-- Marc Gasol
- Tyreke Evans led all scorers with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting and 5-of-7 from three. Evans is now shooting a career-high .426 percent from three on the season.
- Jarell Martin (11 points), James Ennis III (10 points), Wayne Selden Jr. (10 points) and Deyonta Davis (10 points) all reached double figures off the bench for the Grizzlies.