Quick Recap: Grizzlies drop another double-digit lead, lose to Raptors

Feb 6, 2023 - 2:15 AM
Toronto Raptors v <a href=Memphis Grizzlies" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/jRZt9iU4oC84e80kTDnqepFA0ng=/0x0:5472x3078/1920x1080/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/71943706/1246831779.0.jpg" />
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies came in today to take on the Toronto Raptors, and they were down 3 starters. Ja Morant was out with wrist soreness, Dillon Brooks was suspended, and Steven Adams is still out with a knee injury. The Raptors were without everybody’s favorite trade target, OG Anunoby.

The Grizzlies started out on a quick 13-4 start, due to shooting and playmaking from Desmond Bane. Xavier Tillman also provided some great hustling with the 50-50 balls. The quarter belonged to Santi Aldama though, who unleashed the entire bag en route to a 12-point 1st quarter. The Grizzlies led 31-28 at the end of the 1st quarter.

To put out a small fire of trade speculation, Ziaire Williams entered the game at the start of the 2nd quarter — as Danny Green and John Konchar came in before him. Bane was the offensive engine for the Grizzlies with his outside shooting and his activity as a cutter and driver. Unfortunately, they couldn’t build on a lead, as there was no defense on either side. The Raptors surged in the quarter, fueled from former Memphis Tiger Precious Achiuwa. Both teams scored 31 points in the quarter, as the Grizzlies went into halftime with a 62-59 lead.

The 3rd quarter belonged to Jaren Jackson Jr. After foul trouble in the first half, he erupted after the break. He had 9 points and 3 blocks, and he looked like the biggest difference-maker on the floor on both sides of the ball. The Grizzlies ended up extending their lead to double digits, but the Raptors got a 3 at the end of the quarter to cut it to 8 before the final period. Grizzlies led 86-78.

The 4th quarter started out kind of nice, which included Danny Green hitting his 2nd three of the night. However, the Raptors went on a run, demolishing a small lineup the Grizzlies trotted out. They took advantage of the Grizzlies’ rotations for the extra pass to easy shots.

Late-game execution plagued the Grizzlies once again. Scottie Barnes scored off a drive to give the Raptors a lead. Bane got fouled on a drive which would’ve either tied the game or give the Grizzlies a lead. However, Nick Nurse challenged the call successfully. The Raptors got the ball back, resulting in free throws to go up 3.

Jaren Jackson Jr. attempted a step-back jumper against Scottie Barnes with 8 seconds left. The Raptors secured the rebound and the win.

105-102 Raptors. That’s now 8 of 9 losses for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Quick Takeaways

  • Late-game execution. The Grizzlies were trying the “Call 12” playbook without Ja Morant on the floor. Tyus Jones driving or initiating the pick-and-roll was a focal point down the stretch, and it really just didn't click. The Raptors had little-to-no answers for Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr., and those players were made into secondary options down the stretch. I said it in a recap last week, and will say it again, there needs to be more offensive diversification, especially down the stretch.
  • Smoke season, trade season. The Grizzlies started with Santi Aldama over Ziaire Williams tonight, as Williams usually serves as Dillon Brooks’ replacement. He also was behind John Konchar and Danny Green in the depth chart, and though his recent play has warranted it, it was definitely interesting. All of this against a Toronto Raptors team, one linked with the Grizzlies in the trade rumors. You definitely raise some bells a bit, but it could be nothing.

The Grizzlies take on the Chicago Bulls at home on Tuesday.

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