Memphis Grizzlies get a second win in a row as they defeated the Utah Jazz 104-94 at FedEx Forum. The Grizzlies shot .550 (11-of-20 3FG) from beyond the arc in tonight’s game, the Grizzlies second-highest mark of the season and the 11 made three-pointers are a season-high for the Grizzlies, who entered tonight’s game shooting just .338 on threes this season. I have to say it’s very nice to do a positive post game review.
“I’m impressed. We just kept coming harder for longer stretches of time. We kept the turnovers down, which gives us some shots. We got some offensive rebounds,” Coach Dave Joerger said on tonight’s game.
Memphis won its first game against a Western Conference team not in the Pacific Division tonight against Utah. The Grizzlies were previously 0-9 on the season against Western Conference teams outside of the Pacific Division.
Zach Randolph carried the team once again as he posted his second-straight double-double with a team-high 22 points (8-of-14 FG) and 10 rebounds to go with a season high seven assists. Randolph has now recorded 13 double-doubles in his past 17 games, including five of the last six. Memphis is now 9-1 on the year in games in which Randolph leads or ties for the team lead in scoring.
“We got stops on the defensive end. We just need to come out and play like we used to play: come out and play defense first. I think we’re real focused. I think it’s everybody focused from the starting five to the bench. We’re short-handed with injuries. We need everybody to win,” Randolph said on playing as a team
Memphis’ bench was one of the big factors of tonight’s win. Grizzlies’ bench outscored the Jazz bench 51-18. Mike Miller, Jon Leuer, and Jerryd Bayless would all be in double figures off the bench combining 8-of-10 from 3-point range. Bayless come off the bench and having 17 points (6-of-11 FG) in the second half.
The 51 points tie a season-high in bench scoring for the Grizzlies. Memphis entered tonight averaging 31.5 bench points per game while giving up an average of 32.6 bench points per game.
“We want to give some teams some different looks, and we had that opportunity available to us. We were able to match up to some of their lineups defensively tonight. I thought our guys did a nice of that, we are trying to help each other. We had more deflections tonight and got after them a little bit,” Joerger said on his team’s production.
One of the newest players on the team James Johnson started his second straight game and provided great energy, great athleticism, great dunks, and great shot blocking. Johnson would have nine points, four blocked shots, and five rebounds. Everyone in Grizz Nation is happy with the performance so far of the up and comer from the D-League.
“It’s just getting the plays and the defensive schemes. Other than that it’s just playing my normal game. The guys welcomed me with open arms, and it just makes it easier for a new guy to come in. We’ve been successful so far,” Johnson on being the new guy in Memphis.
Johnson is starting to get more comfortable with the team and seems to bring energy on the starting rotation while Tayshaun Prince is still injured. Coach Joerger talked about how he is having a great performance so far with this team but still needs to learn his system.
“Athleticism is what he brings. He has some bounce, and he goes flying in the air. Those are the plays he needs to make…If he will run really hard, offensive rebound when he has the opportunity, defend his tail off and be athletic then the other parts of his game will be added to that,” Joerger said on Johnson’s performance.
This was a major confidence booster win for the Memphis Grizzlies. They win two in a row now against two below average teams and this will give fans something to be happy about entering the holiday season. Now let’s hope that this momentum carries on to Thursday as they face the Houston Rockets.
Merry Grizzmas everyone!!!