Memphis Grizzlies vs Dallas Mavericks recap
With the competition for playoff seeding being as fierce as ever in an extremely tough Western Conference, we are reaching the point of the season where every game counts. Games against a division rival perhaps doubly so.
Couple that with the memory of the recent upset by the Mavericks in our house on MLK Day, and you can get an idea of what the mindset was for this Grizzlies team going into Tuesday night’s matchup against the Mavericks on their home court in Dallas.
This was a game that many people expected the Grizzlies to lose, as historically we have struggled against the Mavericks, especially on the road in Dallas.
That we were facing them on their turf on the second night of a back to back and factoring in the absence of both Mike Conley and Tony Allen due to injury, it would almost seem as though the odds were stacked against us before the game even started.
But this Grizzlies team is no stranger to adversity, and the role of underdog is one they are quite familiar with. This would turn out to be one of those games that should quiet the naysayers and remove any doubts about Memphis being a championship caliber team.
The Mavericks won the tip and the opening sequence ended up with Chandler Parsons scoring with an assist from Dirk Nowitzki. On their first possession, the Grizzlies turned the ball over off a bad Zach Randolph pass which quickly lead to yet another bucket by Parsons on an assist from Nowitzki.
For the better part of the first half of that 1st quarter, the game looked like it might be shaping up for a big Memphis upset.
Then something amazing happened. The Grizzlies dug in their proverbial claws and made it plain for everyone watching that they were not just going to lie down and accept defeat so easily.
By the end of the 1st quarter, the score was tied at 24-24, after Dallas having led by as much as 7 points.
The second quarter got off to a similarly slow paced start, until our bench reserves came in and really lit a spark in the tempo of the Grizzlies offense.
It was that second string unit that changed the whole direction of the game, and secured a lead that Dallas would ultimately be unable to overcome.
Much of that momentum in the 2nd would come from rookie Jordan Adams, who made a couple of clutch shots, including a nice catch and shoot three he drilled in with authority.
Kosta Koufos, Nick Calathes, and Vince Carter also made their respective presences felt, and combined for a collective 34 points.
Our starters all put in a strong effort, but the hands down hero of this game was Zach Randolph, who delivered a game high 22 points and 10 rebounds. Zach was at the top of his game in the second half, knocking down with ease multiple shots over the head of Tyson Chandler.
In his postgame interview with sideline reporter Rob Fischer, Zach mentioned everyone playing with a bit of a chip on the shoulder after the loss on MLK Day left a sour taste in their mouths. This was a team on a mission to avenge themselves, and it is safe to say they succeeded and then some.
One last thing worth noting is that the Grizzlies made huge strides in their three point game, which is an area they’ve been struggling in as of late. They outscored Dallas 10-7 from beyond the arc, shooting 47.6% from three compared to the Mavericks abnormally low 26.9%.
The Mavs were able to outscore us in the paint 46-34, but in the end it wouldn’t be enough to make a difference in the outcome of the game, and the Grizzlies easily came away with the win.
Final score: Grizzlies 109, Mavericks 90
The Grizzlies will return home to the Grindhouse on Thursday, where they will face off against the Denver Nuggets in a much anticipated rematch.
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