Grizz Win: Happy Early Birthday Marc Gasol

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Last night the Memphis Grizzlies wished a happy early birthday to Marc Gasol with their 102-95 win over the Utah Jazz. The game had everything that a Grizzlies’ win usually does. A decent start, moments where we thought the win might not happen, the grind mentality showing up when it mattered, and Zach Randolph carrying the team on his back.

The Good:
The Grizzlies were a scoring machine last night. The team that currently sits last in the NBA in shooting percentage came out and shot 51.3% from the field and 42.3% from three. Memphis also took advantage of the Jazz in the paint, outscoring Utah 48 to 32. The fourth quarter was the Grizzlies worst shooting quarter. They only made 42.1% of their shots. However, it was Mike Conley, Captain Clutch, who came up big when the Jazz were able to bring the game to within 3. Conley scored 9 of his 23 game points in the final five minutes of the game. Those points deflated what little comeback the Jazz were starting to foster. It gave us all a reminder that Mike Conley is our All-Star.

The Great:
Memphis returned to the stifling defense we have come to know and love. While that meant the Jazz visited the free throw line a whopping 29 times due to a more physical Grizzlies team, it also helped force turnovers. The Jazz turned the ball over 13 times last night and Memphis was able to score 21 points on those turnovers. Utah shot 26.3% in the second quarter and were not allotted a single uncontested shot. In the crucial last five minutes of the game Memphis locked down on defense and Utah only made 2 of their 8 shot attempts. Memphis has always created offense from their defense and last night that helped lead to a win. The focus on defense was evident across the entire team.

The Grizzliest:
Zach Randolph, Mr. Fifty for the City, came off the bench to score a season high 28 points. He was also the team’s highest scorer in last night’s win. Randolph, although spending most of his games coming off the bench, remains the workhorse he has always been for Memphis. While Marc Gasol has become more a leader it is still evident that Randolph remains a go-to guy in Memphis. The Grizzlies can still rely on him to grind his way to a win and last night he gave us all another reminder as to why. Don’t ever forget, Zach Randolph can ball.

The Grizzlies head to Phoenix next to take on the Suns. The game tips at 9:30 PM and will give Memphis the chance to move a winning record over their last 10 games.

**Stats from NBA.com, ESPN.com, and basketball-reference.com**

Tabitha Smith

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