Even though many fans couldn’t watch tonight’s game on NBATV due to a blackout, Memphis Grizzlies would end the two game losing streak at home tonight against the Orlando Magic 94-85. This would bring good news to many Grizzlies fans considering earlier in the day they found out that forward Quincy Pondexter would be out for the season with a tarsal navicular stress fracture in right foot. Many young faces including Jon Leuer, Kosta Koufos, and Jamaal Franklin played key roles to tonight’s game.
Even better news is no one got hurt in tonight’s game.
“We just have to come out and play. Everybody has to step up like they have been doing. Guys off the bench like Jon, Leuer, Jamaal Franklin, and Jerryd (Bayless) and they are stepping up and that’s what we need. We need everybody now”, Zach Randolph on the multiple injured Grizzlies team.
Memphis shot a season-high .588 (10-of-17 3FG) from behind the arc in tonight’s game. The Grizzlies made 10 three-pointers are also a season high. The Grizzlies out rebounded the Magic by 17 tonight (52-35).
Leuer or what fans calls him “Jonny Badger” posted his first double-double with 16 points (7-of-14 FG) and a career-high 12 rebounds. This is a guy that keeps gaining confidence every game and has earned more minutes this season.
The Jonny Badger don’t care. It has no regard for any other basketball player whatsoever.
Koufos scored seven points while grabbing 11 rebounds in tonight’s game, and now has tallied nine rebounds in all seven of his starts since entering the starting lineup on Nov. 25. Coach Dave Joerger continues to preach energy to this team and Koufos is one of those guys that brings it every game.
When a key player like Pondexter is done for the season, Marc Gasol is out for a while, Tony Allen and Ed Davis are day-to-day fans hope someone steps up to help out with this team and that guy tonight was Franklin. The rookie went 2-2 from beyond the arc and 3 rebounds.
“I always preached every day, that I make sure I stay ready when the opportunity comes, make the best of it. That’s what I wanted to do tonight”, Franklin said on tonight’s game.
Not only are fans hoping that Franklin steps his game up every game but his teammates are giving him constant support.
Players such as Randolph, Mike Conley, Mike Miller, and Tony Allen told him this would be a big game and he would get big minutes.
“He has been great. I’ve been pulling for him. Actually I have been telling the coaches I think they should play Jamaal. He brings his energy, so I think they should play Jamaal”, Randolph said about Franklin.
The Grizzlies outscored Orlando 51-30 in the first half, setting a Grizzlies opponent low for a first half this season. This gave many fans a sigh of relief that the rest of game would continue would like that.
Andrew Nicholson would lead the Magic in scoring with 19 points (8-of-12 FG) to go along with 11 rebounds and a career-high tying four blocks. The Magic had five players with double-digits that helped them cut a twenty-four point Grizzlies lead to four in the 4th Quarter.
“Not again, we cannot lose at home again”, Conley said on the Magic working on a comeback late in the game.
The Grizzlies would be able to close out the game as Jerryd Bayless would finish the game with a clutch 3-pointer with 25.8 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a nine point lead. Fans could finally feel relaxed again and get the victory.
Tonight was a much needed win for the Grizzlies and the fans. It was a confidence builder for the team considering having so many injuries and having bad poor performances on the outside shooting. Joerger preached about needing to gain more energy from the get go and will need to keep it up as they face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.