Memphis Sounds Like a Winner to Me: Grizzlies vs. Thunder Recap

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Last night was the first of several Hardwood Classics games this season paying homage to the ABA team the Memphis Sounds.  Beale Street Blue was converted to the Retro Red of the Memphis Sounds for the night.  The Memphis Grizzlies were coming off a road win on Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves after winning a thrilling re-match to the Portland Trailblazers at home on Friday.  A win on Monday night would put the Grizzlies back at 0.500.  So, not only were Memphis fans interested in the throwback theme night of the Sounds, they were also interested in seeing the throwback Grizzlies team of recent seasons.  Luckily, the Memphis Grizzlies didn’t disappoint.

 

The Memphis Grizzlies faced the Oklahoma City Thunder in their first regular season match-up of the year.  The Thunder was without the services of Kevin Durant (left hamstring strain) and Andre Roberson (flu).  The Grizzlies were without Brandan Wright (sore right knee) and both Jordan Adams and Jarell Martin are still inactive due to injury as well.  From the initial tip, both rivals appeared hungry to win the game.  Nothing about that changed throughout the game.  The largest lead by the Grizzlies was 11; it was 6 by the Thunder.  The lead changed a total of 10 times and the score was tied a total of 10 times, as well.  At the end of the night, the Grizzlies were the victors with a final score of 122 to 114.

 

The Oklahoma City Thunder was more efficient in their field goal shooting.  They made 51% (41/81) of their field goals, while the Memphis Grizzlies made 44% (37/84) of theirs.  The Thunder led in rebounds, 44 to the Grizzlies 34.  The Thunder had 2 more blocks than the Grizzlies, 6 to 4, and 6 more points in the paint, 44 to 38.  The Grizzlies, however, had some surprising game changers.

 

Game Changers:

 

Three Point Shooting

The Grizzlies shot 71% (12/17) from 3 point range.  Yes, the Memphis Grizzlies shot 71% from 3 point range.  Mike Conley was 4/5, Mario Chalmers was 4/7, Matt Barnes was 1/2, Jeff Green was 2/2, and JaMychal Green was 1/1 from 3 point range.  JMyke’s 3 point shot came at a crucial point in the 4th quarter as minutes were winding down, and the Grizzlies were trying to pull away from the Thunder.  Surprisingly, that was the only field goal that connected for him as he went 1/5 for the night.  The Thunder shot just 42% (10/24) from 3 point range.  This is certainly an anomaly, but a welcomed one nonetheless.

 

The Bench

Coach Dave Joerger started Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Jeff Green, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol for the second game in a row.  Mario Chalmers, Courtney Lee, Matt Barnes, and JaMychal Green came off the bench and contributed 45 points (122 total), 8 rebounds (34 total), 3 assists (23 total), 4 steals (11 total), and 2 blocks (4 total).  Mario Chalmers, in just his 3rd game with the Grizzlies, led all Grizzlies’ scorers with 29 points.  Chalmers and Ja Green both played over 20 minutes; Chalmers played 22 minutes and Green played 30 minutes.

 

Ball Handling

The Grizzlies managed to take better care of the ball than the Thunder.  The Thunder had 19 turnovers, including 8 from Russell Westbrook.  The 19 turnovers resulted in 19 points for the Grizzlies.  The Grizzlies turned the ball over just 10 times, which led to 19 points for the Thunder.

 

Free Throws

The Grizzlies had only 22 fouls, while the Thunder had 28.  The Grizzlies also managed to capitalize off their time at the charity stripe better.  They shot 92% from the free throw line (36/39).  The Thunder shot just 71%, hitting only 22 of their 31 attempts.

 

If you like that Retro Red and you’re looking for the next opportunity to catch the Grizzlies in their Memphis Sounds gear at home, make plans to join them on December 3 as the Grizzlies take on the Spurs.  The Grizzlies have a bit of a break before they play again on this Friday November 20 at home against the Houston Rockets.  With any luck, the team that’s played the last 3 games will carry forth and grow as the season progresses.

 

 

**Information from nba.com**

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