MEMvSAC: Postgame press conference 2.28.20
MEMvSAC: playlist 2.28.20
Postgame Report: Huge night from Dillon Brooks not enough as Grizzlies fall to Kings
Key Stat of the Night
- The Grizzlies shot just 5-of-19 from the floor and totaled only 17 points in the second quarter while the Kings shot 7-of-19 FG for 29 points.
Key Run of the Night
- The Kings went on a 15-4 run taking a 65-54 advantage to open the second quarter.They would lead for the rest of the game.
The Memphis Grizzlies fell to the Sacramento Kings 104-101 on Friday night in front of a sell-out crowd of 17,794 inside FedExForum.
Memphis grabbed command of the game early on as Dillon Brooks scored 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the opening period. Jonas Valanciunas finished one rebound shy of tying the Grizzlies record for rebounds in a quarter (Zach Randolph, 13) as he grabbed 12 rebounds to go with five first quarter points. The Grizzlies limited the Kings to just 28.6 percent shooting in the first quarter to help take a 30-21 lead into the second period. The Memphis offense would go cold in the second quarter as the Grizzlies shot just 5-of-19 from the floor and totaled only 17 points. The Grizzlies led 40-32 with 6:42 remaining before Sacramento closed out the second quarter on an 18-7 run to grab a 50-47 lead heading into the halftime break.
Sacramento stretched their lead to as many as 11 points in the third quarter at 65-54 with 7:34 remaining in the quarter. De'Aaron Fox found his rhythm in the third period, connecting on 5-of-6 shots for 11 points in the third, as the Kings took a 81-75 lead into the fourth. Memphis found themselves down nine points at 100-91 following a three pointer from Fox with 2:48 remaining. The Grizzlies were able to capitalize on two steals from Josh Jackson as they cut the Kings lead to 102-101 following a 10-2 run, highlighted a three-point play from Ja Morant. Memphis had the ball for the final possession down 104-101 but were unable to connect a three-point attempt from Tyus Jones as time expired. The victory gave the Kings their seventh victory in their last 10 games and snapped the Grizzlies’ four-game home winning streak.
Brooks totaled a season-high 32 points (12-22 FG, 3-7 3P) to go with two rebounds and one assist to lead Memphis. Valanciunas posted his 28th double-double with 13 points and a career-high 25 rebounds. Valanciunas’ 25 rebounds tied Zach Randolph for the second most in a game in franchise history. Morant posted his rookie-leading 10th double-double of the season with 20 points, 11 assists and three rebounds. De’Anthony Melton added 10 points, six rebounds and six assists. Josh Jackson led the Memphis bench with nine points, three rebounds and three assists as the Grizzlies dropped to 28-31 on the season.
Fox totaled 25 points, five assists and four rebounds on 10-of-19 shooting to lead Sacramento. Harry Giles III added 16 points, five rebounds and two rebounds on 8-of-14 shooting. Nemanja Bjelica posted a double-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and two assists. Buddy Hield scored a bench-high 14 points to go with four rebounds and two assists. Kent Bazemore added 13 points, four rebounds and one block as Sacramento moved to 25-34 on the season.
The Grizzlies will wrap up the second night of a back-to-back as they host the Los Angeles Lakers inside FedExForum on Saturday, February 29 at 7 p.m. Fans can get their tickets at grizzlies.com/tickets to come out and support the team, watch the game on FOX Sports Southeast or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
On the game:Very proud of our guys. The way that we fought in that fourth quarter to give ourselves a chance to win a ballgame. I hit them after the game and said, ‘We have to play like that from the start of the game.’ I thought we came out playing pretty well in that first quarter, definitely could have played a whole lot better, but that second and third quarter we kind of just had a little letdown there, but that fourth quarter just the intensity that they played with – the fight, the grit – that’s what we’re going to need right now. The guys are finding a way. Unfortunately, it didn’t lead to a win tonight. Credit to the Kings. We threw a couple different things at them. They just made the right plays at the right time. Great passes to roller, to shooters. They made the shots that they needed. We fell short a little bit with a couple of shots there in the fourth quarter and throughout the game, but the resolve and the competiveness from our guys was great tonight.
On losing momentum in the second quarter:I thought we had some defensive lapses there. I didn’t think our activity and our urgency was where it needed to be, and then we put them on the free throw line, I think, 12 times which completely killed our momentum on the offensive end. It’s hard to get out and play with pace when we’re putting them on the free throw line 12 times. If it’s a few times I can get that, but they weren’t fouls of aggression. We’re going to go back and watch that and get better from it, but that kind of turned the table a little bit in that second quarter.
On Josh Jackson’s defensive effort in the final minutes of the game:They were huge. Not until the very last time when we told him we were going to foul to just come up with that activity. The ball finds its way into your area. For him to go and make a play, have the instincts to get his hands on the ball, create some fast breaks for us. Those were crucial buckets that we needed, but really proud of the activity guarding wings, guarding bigs throughout the game. Executing the game plan was pretty important for him there in the fourth quarter, and then just general hustle plays. Those are the winning plays that you need for 48 minutes. Glad we got them in the fourth quarter, so we just have to continue to build on that habit and more consistently throughout the games.
On Josh Jackson making a name for himself:He’s getting better every single day. Continuing to find his comfort zone. As we’ve said, he just has to keep making an impact on the defensive end shooting the three, attacking downhill. He missed a couple shots I know he’d want back, but he’s getting great looks. He’s playing with force on the offensive end, and he’s playing active on the defensive end. That’s what we expect out of him. So the more he does that, obviously, for any of our guys, you make an impact on both ends that is winning basketball, you obviously earn more opportunities.
On Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks:We needed every minute from those guys [Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks]. They gave us everything they had. I’m proud of them. I know we’re in a tough stretch here back-to-back, but obviously when you put yourself in a position to win a ballgame, especially in the fourth quarter, which we haven’t had in a couple of games, just relying on these guys who were playing great for us on both ends. Some of our important playmakers for us. I just kind of rolled with it. These are tactical experiences that these guys can gain from. We haven’t had that in the last couple games. For these guys to put ourselves in a position to win a ballgame that’s what most important right now.
On if the Grizzlies made progress tonight:There’s always progress made when you go out there. Some days you have to learn. You have to play 48 minutes. That’s about it.
On the second and third quarter:Our energy just died down. We were up nine points I think going into the second. I think they won that second quarter by 12. We kept them on the free throw line. I think they shot 12 free throws or something like that. We can’t foul. It doesn’t allow us to get out in transition. That’s just on us right there. We have to be disciplined on defense and allow us to put ourselves in a better position.
On if the crowd helped the Grizzlies tonight:Definitely. It felt good being back. Tough that we couldn’t get the win for them, but definitely felt some energy. Even when we were down and I was like, ‘We need y’all,’ they got on their feet. You see what happens. We start going crazy all over the floor and stuff. We were able to come back. I think we got down one. We appreciate the crowd tonight. It’s a tough loss, but we’ll be back tomorrow.
On Dillon Brooks’ offensive performance:Definitely good. I told him to keep shooting the whole time. Since we’ve been playing, I know people were like, ‘He’s in a drought, cold.’ Me as a point guard, I have to put him in better positions and give him easier looks. We see different coverages. Teams try blocking him, teams trap him on the ball screens so it’s just me trying to give him easier looks juts to make his shots better. Tonight, he was on one and definitely helped us out a lot. It was big for us. We need that every night.
On Jonas Valanciunas:I actually looked up in the second quarter and he had 14. That’s big-time for us, being able to dominate the glass. We gave up some rebounds, but having him down there battling each and every night, come out with 25 [rebounds]. Wish he had gotten 30. Want him to just keep breaking records. He does a lot for us inside, protecting the paint for us, play bully-ball down low. He’s special.
On how the Grizzlies move on and prepare for the Lakers tomorrow:It’s over. We lost. It’s out the window. Turn the page. We have the Lakers so we’re focusing on them.
On what they can learn from tonight’s game:We learned that if we keep that same energy that we had in the fourth quarter and we apply it to 48 minutes in the game, we can be dangerous. In spurts, we look very, very good. At other times, we just have to lock in a little bit more, especially being a young team and given the stuff we’ve been through. We just have to keep locking in and keep that same high energy, high-octane basketball.
On the lull in the second and third quarter:We have to show our hands and be disciplined on the other side of the ball. We’re going to learn from it and learn how to close out games, close out quarters. This is all a learning experience for us.
- Dillon Brooks totaled a season-high 32 points, two rebounds and one assist.
- Jonas Valanciunas posted his 28th double-double with 13 points and a career-high 25 rebounds
- De'Anthony Melton added 10 points, six rebounds and six assists.
- Josh Jackson led the Memphis bench with nine points, three rebounds and three assists as the Grizzlies dropped to 28-31 on the season.
- De'Aaron Fox totaled 25 points, five assists and four rebounds on 10-of-19 shooting to lead Sacramento.
- Harry Giles III added 16 points, five rebounds and two rebounds on 8-of-14 shooting.
- Buddy Hield scored a bench-high 14 points to go with four rebounds and two assists
Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2019-20 Season Tickets can do so by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com. Single Game Tickets are available for purchase at the FedExForum Box Office, ticketmaster.com, online at grizzlies.com or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX.