The Memphis Grizzlies were able to get their ninth win of the season as they defeated the Phoenix Suns 110-91. Many games would consider this the Ed Davis/Jon Leuer game. Memphis snapped its four-game losing streak and won at FedEx Forum for the first time since Nov. 9 vs. Golden State.
“We made a lot of shots with good energy. We got stops in the second half…We came out and we were very physical defensively. We were active in the second half, and then the ball started going in for us. It makes everyone feel good”, Coach Dave Joerger said on tonight’s energy.
Memphis would have seven players in double figures tonight. Leuer would lead the team with career high 23 points, 9 rebounds that ties a career high, and 3 blocks.
The first half of this game was back to the bad habits of bad outside shots and poor execution running the ball. Many fans started chanting “We Want Q-Pon” since Quincy Pondexter did not play and fans wanted him on the court. Those chants stopped in the second half.
Down 58-48 with 10:14 left in the third quarter, the Grizzlies went on a 24-7 run to take a 72-65 with 4:15 left in the third quarter. This would tie the team’s highest scoring output for any quarter this season.
“We made shots and I thought we executed on offense very well, which was a big key for us to dictate the game by and large didn’t give up too many spurts, or end-to-end run outs by [Eric] Bledsoe,” Joerger said on readjusting on halftime.
Tonight everyone on this Grizzlies team executed and played their role tonight (except Pondexter who didn’t play tonight) but I want to focus on three guys that got this team rolling: Leuer, Davis, and Mike Conley.
Conley had his second consecutive double-double and third in his last four games with 18 points (6-of-15 FG) and 14 assists. In his last four games Conley has 43 assists and 4 turnovers. Those are the numbers of a guy who is determined to get this team on the right track.
“I thought Mike Conley didn’t look as tired as he normally does because we put our bodies on people and got him open. Then he can make plays. He’s dropping it off. He got 14 assists”, Joerger said on Conley’s performance.
In the absence of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, it seems that Joerger needs to find ways to get Mike Conley going because he knows that he brings so much energy to this team and find guys the ball. One of those guys was number 32 for the Grizzlies.
Davis received his sixth career 20-10 game and his first in a Grizzlies uniform with season highs in points (210 and rebounds (12). This was a performance that would silence his critics for a little bit. He was getting big rebounds, making big stops on defense, and creating great shots. Hopefully this performance can carry on to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.
Joerger has mentioned in the past that whenever Leuer is on the floor he feels safe with him and I agree with him. Leuer is a guy who brings energy and can spread the floor. Like tonight having a big three-pointer to seal the game and three monstrous dunks to get the Grindhouse rocking.
“I think, early in the game, getting in there, grabbing a few rebounds, knocking the first couple of shots down and getting some easy baskets. You get into a rhythm after that. From there on we are able to play in the flow and get stops defensively and our defense led to our offense”, Leuer on tonight’s performance.
It was performances from Davis and Leuer that showed that when you have two All-Stars like Gasol and Randolph out you either make the best of the opportunity or someone will take that chance and you will never get another shot. Now fans hope this performance from the Grizzlies can carry on against the Floppers…I mean Clippers Thursday. Go Grizz.