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Postgame Report: Raptors’ Hot Second Half Downs Grizzlies, 122-114
The Memphis Grizzlies lost to the Toronto Raptors, 122-114, on Tuesday night in FedExForum. Memphis dropped to 12-8 overall and 7-3 at home. Toronto, who owns the best record in the NBA, improved to 18-4 on the year.
Marc Gasol led all scorers with 27 points on 10-of-14 (4-6 3PT) shooting. Mike Conley had 20 points and a team-high six assists. JaMychal Green and Kyle Anderson both scored 13 points. Garrett Temple added 12 points. Shelvin Mack and Omri Casspi scored 10 coming off the bench.
Toronto, who had been shooting well from beyond the arc all night, made 7-of-12 (.583) three-pointers in the fourth quarter alone. The Raptors went on a crucial 17-2 run from 8:40 to 3:38 (5:02 run) to help take a 113-109 lead in the final period, their first lead since the 5:04 mark of the second quarter, and would lead the rest of the way.
The Grizzlies shot above 50 percent from the floor in the game, going 43-for-85 (.506), but also allowed a season-high opponent field goal percentage, as the Raptors were 42-for-69 (.609). Toronto went 18-of-33 (.545) from three-point range, the most threes made by a Memphis opponent this year, while Memphis was 10-of-29 (.345). The Raptors outscored the Grizzlies 27-6 in fast break points.
Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 24 points and handed out six assists. Kawhi Leonard had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Fred VanVleet scored 18 off the bench on a perfect 6-for-6 (3-3 3PT) shooting. Serge Ibaka added 16 points while Danny Green had 14. Pascal Siakam rounded out the Raptors scoring with 10 points.
The Raptors shot 11-of-15 (.733) from the floor in the third quarter, to cut the Memphis lead to 97-93 at the end of the period. Toronto scored 11 points in fastbreak situations while the Grizzlies had none in the quarter.
Memphis shot 27-of-46 (.587) from the field in the first half, while Toronto was close behind, going 22-of-38 (.579). The Raptors were sharp from the three-point line in the half, draining 8-of-16 (.500) threes compared to the Grizzlies making 4-of-11 (.364) three-pointers. Memphis was perfect at the free throw line though, going 13-for-13 at the line. The Grizzlies outrebounded the Raptors 20-13 during the first half. The Grizzlies’ 71 first-half points tied a season-high for the most points given up in a half by the Raptors, and Memphis led 71-59 at the break.
Both offenses started the game hot, shooting over 60 percent in the first quarter, with Memphis going 14-for-22 (.636) and Toronto shooting 13-for-21 (.619). The Raptors opened the game with an 8-2 run from 11:44 to 10:16 (1:28 span), but the Grizzlies outscored them 30-23 the rest of the way to take a 32-31 lead at the end of the quarter. There were nine lead changes in the first period alone. It was the first time in last six games that the Raptors were outscored in the opening quarter.
The strong shooting continued in the second quarter, with Memphis making 13-of-24 (.542) shots from the floor and Toronto connecting on 9-of-17 (.529) field goals. The Grizzlies defense forced six Raptors turnovers (five steals) in the period, while committing only two of their own. Memphis shot a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line during the quarter. The Grizzlies used a 14-3 run midway through the second quarter, from 8:20 to 5:04 (a 3:16 run), to help take a 71-59 lead at halftime.
The Grizzlies will head northeast to play the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, November 30 at Barclays Center at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tune in to FOX Sports Southeast presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN to follow the action.
Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2018-19 Season Tickets or 10-Game Flex Packs can do so now by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com/tickets. Single Game Tickets are also available for purchase at the FedExForum Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com, online at grizzlies.com/tickets or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX. For more information on the Grizzlies, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow on Twitter and Instagram (@memgrizz).
On trying to disrupt Toronto’s rhythm:Credit to them. They play with a ton of pace. They put a ton of pressure on you. Their style won the fight tonight. We weren’t able to get back, get matched in transition – look at the fast break points that they had, you look at the threes they were able to create because of that. We just have to do a better job of dictating, and tonight they did a better job.
On Toronto hitting open threes from the corner:There were some errors we made to create those situations. We’re not trying to give up corner threes by any means. They do a good job of putting people in position to create those shots. They spread you out. They’re five out most of the time, then they have guys who can penetrate. You want to bring the help from that low man and it ends up with that guy in the corner being the guy you have to rotate to. We didn’t get to that guy enough.
On the first three-game losing streak of the season:Overall, I think it’s a blip. I don’t think it’s who we are by any means. There’s no reason to panic, we’ll be fine. You look at the stretch and the Clippers game, we had an opportunity there. New York, we had an opportunity there. Tonight we had an opportunity. It’s not like we’re out here getting our doors kicked in. We’re putting ourselves in position, we just have to finish.
On Marc Gasol:He’s being examined now, so I don’t want to speak before I have all the information.
On Toronto’s defense:I think we got rushed to be honest with you. They turned up their defensive pressure and we got sped up. Again, we play a certain style. We don’t play a hurried style and we weren’t comfortable with some of the shots because they were rushed. Again, I give them a ton of credit. We had looks that appeared to be open, but they had guys flying around with a ton of speed, a ton of athleticism and length. They challenged those shots and made them more difficult on us. Styles win fights and tonight their style won.
On if teams are starting to adjust to the way the Grizzlies defend:Not really. When we do what we do well, it doesn’t matter what they do. That is just kind of where we have to focus. Obviously, teams do a good job of preparing and studying and seeing what’s going on. I don’t think our defense – tonight, they were created gaps, but for the most part our defense has been solid. We just have to do a better job of executing and taking them out of what they want to do. Again, they shoot the three really well. They have guys up and down their roster that can shoot it. We just made too many mistakes that created threes for them. Systematically, I think we’re fine. Obviously, we can get better and we’ve said that from the beginning, that this team is going to take some time to be the finished product that we expect it to be. We’ve done a lot of things well and we can continue to get even better.
On trying to match the Grizzlies lineup with Toronto’s by giving players like Omri Casspi more minutes:Just looking at it, the way that Omri [Casspi] has played, he’s been helpful in the minutes that he’s played. So we were trying to create an opportunity for him to get on the floor and play. I think, again, tonight he contributed. We’re just trying to find, at that wing position coming off the bench without Dillon [Brooks] there, we’re trying to find someone and we’re going to try everybody because we feel like everybody can contribute. We’ve just got to put them in and give them an opportunity.
On Kyle Anderson:Again, we talk about this thing overall as a process and Kyle [Anderson] is working his way in the right direction as to where he’s going to be able to help us. I think he did a phenomenal job defensively tonight. When he gives you 6-of-8 from the floor, he puts pressure on defenses as well – his playmaking, his ability to rebound. When you throw eight or nine new guys in on a roster, it’s going to take some time for guys to figure one another out. I think he’s a part of that, he’s working his way in and we’re starting to figure out how we can best use him and how he can be most effective.
On the difference between the first half and the second half:You know, I feel like we didn’t play defense at all. Even in the first half, giving up 59 points in one half is unlike us. It’s not something that we’re used to doing. Scoring 71 points, you kind of get disguised about how bad we were defensively. And then letting them make 18 threes is hard to overcome.
What made it difficult to defend them from the three-point line after halftime:They have some great players. It’s why they’re one of the best teams in the East– I think they have the number one record right now. Kawhi [Leonard] puts so much pressure on the rim, and also Kyle Lowry. When they are driving and kicking out, it’s very tough to [defend].
On what it will take to stop their current three-game losing streak:Just make some adjustments. It’s the Western Conference. I’m pretty sure if we look up again in five days, there will be a different [team] at number one. So we’re just trying to budget how we’re continuing to grow as a team, and let the standings fall in place in April. Can’t get worried about it now. It’s the NBA – [the standings] change every day. The biggest thing is to try to win the next game.
On the adjustments Toronto made in the second half:They just made shots. They were like  percent from the three [point line]. We just didn’t guard well.
On regrouping from three straight losses:We just got to bounce back. Ain’t no excuse. We just got to come in, play hard, and when it gets down to crunch time, lock up.
On his personal health recently:I’m feeling better, getting my legs back, getting my wind back. Just got to get back in the groove as a team.
On whether there are only a few small things to adjust:Yeah, man. We were up 17 points in this game. We can’t give away the lead like that. Just got to find ways to keep that lead and step on their necks.
- A season-high seven Grizzlies scored in double figures, including Marc Gasol (27), Mike Conley (20), JaMychal Green (13), Kyle Anderson (13), Garrett Temple, Shelvin Mack (10) and Omri Casspi (10).
- Jaren Jackson Jr., appearing in his 20th career game, became the fourth player in NBA history to record 250+ points, 20+ steals and 40+ blocks in his first 20 career games. He joined Hall of Famers David Robinson (1989-90), Patrick Ewing (1985-86) and Bill Walton (1974-75) in achieving the feat.
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