MEMvUTA: Grind City Rewind 2.7.18
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Postgame Report: Grizzlies fight but fall to Jazz
The Memphis Grizzlies fell to the Utah Jazz 92-88 on Wednesday night in their first game back at FedExForum following a four-game road trip and first game against the Utah Jazz this season.
Utah stretched its winning streak to seven games and won its sixth straight road contest.
Andrew Harrison posted a career-high 23 points (9-15 FG, 2-5 3P) and four assists for the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol finished with 20 points (7-20 FG) and five assists. JaMychal Green and Dillon Brooks added 11 points apiece. Both the Grizzlies (34-81 FG) and Jazz (29-69) shot 42 percent from the field in the contest. Memphis held Utah under 100 points for the 27th straight head-to-head meeting though the Jazz entered the contest averaging 117.7 points over its last six games.
Ricky Rubio led all scorers with 29 points, shooting 50 percent from the field (8-16) and beyond the arc (2-4). Rubio also went 11-14 from the free throw line and grabbed eight boards. The Jazz doubled the Grizzlies' free throw attempts, shooting 28-of-33 from the foul line (.848) compared to Memphis' 12-of-16 shooting at the charity stripe (.750).
Rodney Hood added 18 points (5-12 FG, 8-8 FT). A strong contender for the Rookie of the Year award, Utah guard Donovan Mitchell finished with nine points.
The Grizzlies will head back to the drawing board in hopes of snapping the current five-game losing streak and head to Oklahoma City where they will take on the Thunder on Sunday, January 11. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT. Tune in to FOX Sports Southeast presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
Key Stats of the Night
- The Jazz were able to get to the free throw line more than twice as often as the Grizzlies and shot a higher percentage, making 28-of-33 (.848) free throw attempts while Memphis shot 12-of-16 (.750).
Key Run of the Night
- After an Ivan Rabb jump shot cut the Utah lead to 75-69 with 9:05 remaining in the game, the Jazz went on a 5-0 run over the next 1:24 to gain its largest lead of the game at 80-69.
On his interaction with referee Marc Davis leading up to Bickerstaff's ejection:
I think it was more one-sided than it was me and Marc Davis. Andrew [Harrison] was having a conversation with him. I told [Harrison] to ignore the conversation, 'Go play.' That's a technical foul, apparently. I look up. [Davis] and the opposing coach after the play are giggling. I asked him about it. That's a second technical foul, I'm out of the game. That's what happened.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On Andrew Harrison:
We had a hard conversation with Andrew last night after the game [against Atlanta]. We had a very positive conversation with him today about who we believe he can be. He took it to heart. He took the challenge. He played with the confidence that we haven't seen in a while. It's crazy. Every time you look up, one of these young guys is responding in a positive way. That says a lot about the character of the group of guys that are there. What the goal is with these young guys is, get them to the spot where that's who they are all the time. That's the hardest part of growth. The hardest part of development is that consistency. For a guy to be able to respond like that, says a lot about him, says a lot about his makeup and who he is as a person and as a basketball player.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On using a bigger starting lineup:
Every night, we deal with what we got. When we're looking at guys' minutes and injuries and that type of thing, trying to protect guys and use their minutes as efficiently as we possibly can, you know, Jarell [Martin] has been playing really good basketball. Giving him an opportunity to play with JaMychal [Green], you don't have to split the minutes because those two guys play extremely hard. We're lucky enough that they're versatile enough where they can play with one another. You put maximum effort guys on the court, and you figure the rest of the stuff out.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On managing his players' frustration with the referees:
We all have to do a better job of keeping our composure. I include myself in that. The referees have a job to do. They are held to a standard, and they should always be held to a standard. But our guys-again, myself included-need to focus on the task at hand. It is frustrating at times. This isn't a one-off night. You look at free throw discrepancy the past couple of weeks, and the numbers are there. They speak for themselves. But part of that is on us, right? The way that we're defending. Part of it is the reputation that you build. So we have to do our part to clean that up. But again, if you're competing with all your fire and all your grit, you want to be rewarded for that, too.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On whether the frustration of recent games carried into tonight's displays of emotion:
I mean, it carries over. Again, if it's a one-off, it's a one-off. People keep moving on. But the most important thing for us is that we continue to fight no matter what. And we recognize the odds, right? But our guys don't lay down. They continue to fight. We will fight for one another. We will defend one another. We will stand up for one another when we believe one of our guys has been wronged. And if our group feels that way, we will defend each other. This group won't separate. We won't fracture. So, if that happens, it happens. We've got basketball games to play. Every night we're going to show up and we're going compete our asses off and play those games. And frustration may happen. As a group, we need to find a way to focus that energy in a more positive way and stick together, play for one another, play through it. But we're not going to back down from a challenge, and we're not going to let someone disrespect one of our guys.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On his ejection:
What I said was 'He hit my foot.' That's all I really said. The ejection is the ejection and that's what the ref called.-- Dillon Brooks
On the game:
We're playing competitively for the whole 48 minutes. We were playing hard as a team, we've just got to take care of the basketball and rebound the basketball a lot better.-- Dillon Brooks
On the team playing hard:
We've just got to keep playing hard and consistent every single game. No let downs, it doesn't matter who is the opposing team. We've just got to go out there and play our game.-- Dillon Brooks
On the morale of the locker room:
That's what people told me when I came in the NBA, it's not just going to be a flat line. It's going to be up and down and people going out, but we've got a bunch of good guys on this team. Our morale is high. We've just got to keep playing the game when our number is called or if you're out there and you get an opportunity, you've got to thrive and relish the moment.-- Dillon Brooks
On holding Donovan Mitchell to nine points:
I just played defense. When I see a matchup like that, I don't want him to score. He's a tremendous player. He's got eight or nine 30-point games. I just watch my film and try to stop whoever I'm guarding.-- Dillon Brooks
On the game:
The effort has to be there every night. It shouldn't be surprising anybody. The effort should be a constant. It should be a habit. Playing together should be a habit. There's nights that you're going to shoot the ball better. There's nights you won't shoot the ball so well. But the pressure and the physicality defensively should be non-negotiable because any other way, our chances of not just winning but building something consistent for the team and for the future is not going to be stable enough or consistent enough and not strong enough. The only thing that matters right now is playing together on both ends, especially defensively, and playing hard. Then everything else you can teach and you can learn. But those are musts. They can't be any other way.-- Marc Gasol
On being targeted by officials:
No, everything is momentum. You have the negative momentum and everything goes wrong. You create those habits and the officiating obviously tries their best. They see a pattern and you have to break that pattern. We've been on the other side when every contact initiated was going our way and now it's kind of the other way around. Every time we get contact on one end its just different, the moment that I talked about. You've got to create those habits every night and break through it.-- Marc Gasol
On playing both sides of the ball effectively:
Defense should never be something that is not there. It starts on the ball, then communication and then on the weak side. You can see when the ball moves, everybody should move at the same time and you should see at least three guys talking. Two guys on the weak side that are not implicating the action and the three guys implicating the action whether it's a pick-and-roll or a screen away, you should always see that flow and that togetherness. Five guys tied together. It should be three plays where everything goes well, should be all the time. That's where we should spend most of our energy and on the other end, just let the ball move, find the other guy, don't hold the ball, create advantages and move it, move it, move it to find the open guy and just shoot it with confidence. If we make it great, if not we'll get back and get a stop.-- Marc Gasol
- Marc Gasol (20 points) posted his 16th game with at least 20 points this season and also tallied six rebounds and five assists. Gasol has led the Grizzlies in scoring 1 tim8es this season.
- Andrew Harrison scored a career-high 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting to go with four assists, breaking his previous career-high of 21 set on Nov. 30, 2016 at Toronto.
- Dillon Brooks (11 points) notched his eighth straight game scoring in double figures.