Postgame Report: Grizzlies stall in fourth quarter, fall to Toronto 128 - 113
Key Stat of the Night
- The Raptors outscored the Grizzlies 65-43 in the second half, including a 34-16 margin in the fourth quarter. Memphis shot 7-of-24 from the field (1-12 3P) and 1-of-2 from the free throw line in the final frame while Toronto shot 10-of-14 overall (4-5 3P) and 10-for-10 from the foul line.
- Memphis scored 70 points before halftime, a season high in scoring for any half. The last time the Grizzlies scored 70+ points before halftime was on Dec. 16, 2019 vs. Miami (73 points).
Key Run of the Night
- Toronto opened the fourth quarter on a 19-3 run to take a 113-100 advantage with 7:40 left in the game, the Raptors’ first lead of the second half. Memphis could not get closer than seven points the rest of the way.
The Memphis Grizzlies fell to the Toronto Raptors, 128-113, Monday inside FedExForum.
The Raptors jumped out to an early 11-4 lead over the Grizzlies with (8:53) left in the first. The Grizzlies first quarter run, led by Ja Morant (eight points and four assists) and Grayson Allen (3-of-4 from 3-point range), helped Memphis gain their first lead of the night, 25-24, with (3:50) left in the quarter. Toronto led after one, 35-34. Memphis shot 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from 3-point range.
Jonas Valanciunas led the charge for the Grizzlies in the second quarter with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Pascal Siakam had 11 points in the quarter, but it was not enough to stop the Grizzlies from going on a 10-0 run to take a 63-59 lead with (2:03) left in the half. Memphis scored 36 points in the second period and led Toronto 70-63 at the half. In his first start of the season, Desmond Bane finished the first half connecting on a career-high three 3-pointers. The Grizzlies 70 points in the first half, was a season-high for any half this season. Valanciunas became the first player in franchise history to record 18 points and 14 rebounds in a single half.
Toronto shot 55.0 percent from the field and outscored the Grizzlies 31-27 in the third period. Fred VanVleet added 12 points in the quarter. The Grizzlies hung onto a 97-94 lead going into the fourth. The Raptors offense continued to roll as they entered the fourth quarter on a 27-5 run with (7:40) remaining and pulled out to a 13-point lead, 113-100. VanVleet (10 points) and Siakam (12 points) both contributed a second double-digit quarter of the game. The Grizzlies struggled on the offensive end of the fourth and were outscored 34-16 in the fourth. The Raptors beat the Grizzlies 128-113.
Valanciunas led the Grizzlies with a season-high 27 points and season-high 20 rebounds in his first game back in the starting line-up. Morant finished the game with 18 and nine assists. Dillon Brooks added 22 points and five rebounds. Bane (13 points) and Allen (12 points) each finished with a career-high three 3-pointers. Kyle Anderson contributed 15 points, four rebounds and four assists. Grizzlies finished with a season-high 19 offensive rebounds. The Grizzlies fall to 9-10.
Siakam and VanVleet led all scorers with 32 points each. Siakam hit a season-high five 3-pointers (5-of-8). Powell finished the game with a season-high 29 points and made a season-high six 3-pointers (6-of-9). Chris Boucher contributed 12 points and season-high 10 rebounds off the bench. The Raptors finished the game shooting 54.1 percent from 3-point range (20-of-37). Toronto moves to 11-13 on the season.
The Grizzlies will play the Charlotte Hornets Wednesday, February 10 inside FedExForum. Fans can watch the game on FOX Sports Southeast or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
On Desmond Bane making his first career start:I thought (Desmond) was okay. I thought offensively he gave us a boost. Defensively, I felt like he could’ve been a little more engaged… Overall I was really impressed with him being thrust into that lineup. He obviously needs to finish and to get that game experience I think is really big for his development.
On the fourth quarter:(Toronto) took advantage of some pace. I thought they were in attack mode. We’ve struggled recently keeping guys in front of us and guarding one-on-one. I thought they did a great job getting downhill creating a lot of looks in the paint and from the 3-point line. And then, offensively, they started blitzing and we had some rough possessions, but I thought we also had some really good possessions and ball movement. We’ve just got to get a little bit better connected on our passes, and then when we’re open, we had a lot of great looks but we didn’t make the shots we needed to down the stretch to keep the game close.
On the biggest change in finishing the game:It’s new ball games and I think it’s new opportunities. I think teams have scouted us a little differently and we’ve regressed defensively. It happens throughout the season. We’ve just got to get back to it, keep working, keep finding ways to get better defensively. And offensively, we’re seeing a whole lot different game plans, especially late in the games and sometimes over the course of 48-minute games. So, it’s all great development and learning for a young team, we’ve just got to get better from it.
On the defense giving up 3-point shots:It’s frustrating. We go back and look at how we’re giving up threes. Sometimes we’re giving up tough shots and it’s heavily contested and teams have nights against us. We’ve talked about how we can’t let our paint defense be the struggle, and that’s been a struggle as well. We can’t have both. You have to live with something, and hopefully it’s contested high-quadrant threes. When teams are making a high clip, we’ve got to study it, where our shifts can be better, where our contests can be better, but it’s the stretch of the season where teams are getting a little hot against us and hopefully they cool off when we make our adjustments defensively.
On Dillon Brooks:(Brooks) is huge for us on both sides of the ball. It’s great for him to get the confidence and see the ball go through. I thought he played a pretty clean game. I know he missed some shots down there late, but I think to start of the game he was under control.
On getting to the free throw line 29 times:We keep talking to our guys about playing with force. It was great to see Ja (Morant) get to the line a number of times, but against an aggressive defense, you’ve got to play aggressive as well. So, our guys took advantage of that and I’m glad they were rewarded and they were pretty successful at the free throw line tonight.
On the biggest difference on the floor between the winning streak and now:We’ve just got to lock in on the defensive end. During the winning streak, we were playing our defense, giving up the shots that we wanted to and now we’re just a step or two behind. We’re guarding the ball and the rotations and the teams are making us pay for it.
On the fourth quarter in the past four games:Teams just pick it up on their end defensively and offensively executing and getting the shots that they want. We’ve just got to want it more in the fourth quarter, and we’ve paid for it these past few games.
On how to get a win the next game:Play 48.
On tonight’s fourth quarter:(Toronto) executed well on offense and defensively got stops, got buckets and were able to get out to a lead and hang on to it.
On Yuta Watanabe:I’m proud of Yuta. I’m happy he got the opportunity to be able to play. It all comes from his work, his dedication, and it’s all paying off for him.
On Desmond Bane’s first start and what he brings on both ends of the court:(Desmond) brings a lot to the table defensively, being able to be physical. He guards some of the top players. In the offense, being able to spread forward and knock down the shot.
On Jonas Valančiūnas returning:I’m happy for that guy. He’s been working since he got back and to have him back, it’s big time for us, as it shows. I think he had (27) and 20. That’s a very dominant performance. I just wish we could’ve gotten the win.
On how to counter the blitz:Get off the ball and put the teams in rotations, and have the other players make the right play.
On making his first career NBA start:I'm happy to get my first start. I wish I would have played a little bit better, took better care of the ball, better defensively. But you know, it's a start. I'm happy and I am super thankful. Ja (Morant) is a great player. We have a lot of great players. We can all play to our strengths so I think it works for sure.
On settling into the game:Toronto is an extremely active defense, shifting all around the place. I was just sped up out there and then I slowed down and settled into the rhythm of the game and was good from there.
On adjusting to still getting upon looks:Just like I said, we've got a lot of great players. You kind of have to pick your poison when guys like Ja (Morant), DB (Desmond Bane) and Jonas (Valančiūnas) make it tough on the defenses so I'm just trying to take what the defense gives me.
On the biggest challenges in the fourth quarters:I think we just got to get our swagger back. We'll get punched in the mouth and we can't get back up (right now). I mean we just got to get our swagger back and stay together. It's a long season. It's four games and the beauty of the NBA is we've got another one coming up soon. Just looking forward to that and hopefully getting a win.
On the defense the last four games:I think it'll come. Teams have been making shots, been hot, but it's the NBA. There's a lot of good players in this league and we've got to figure out a way to get stops. It doesn't come down to coverages or anything like that. It's simply effort, effort, extra efforts and I think we are falling short a little bit in that area.
On when he learned he was going to start:I found out this morning at shootaround. Of course, it's something I'll remember forever. Hopefully I get a lot more starts throughout my NBA career but if not, I'm perfectly fine playing a bench role or whatever role the team has for me. It's definitely something I'll remember. I wish we could have come away with the win. Keep growing. Keep building.
- Jonas Valanciunas posted season highs with 27 points (8-12 FG, 11-12 FT) and 20 rebounds (10 offensive) for his 10th double-double of the season.
- Ja Morant had 18 points and a team-high nine assists.
- Desmond Bane tallied 13 points (5-11 FG, 3-7 3P) in 26 minutes in his first career start. Bane entered the game ranked fifth in the NBA and first among rookies in 3-point field goal percentage (.486).