Grizzlies Comeback to Clip the Sixers: Recap and Analysis

The Memphis Grizzlies ousted the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night, winning 103-100.

The Sixers looked like they were in control all night against the Grizzlies (29-15) but Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay had other ideas. Gasol had a season high scoring 27 points, simply having his way with Spencer Hawes in the low post, and Rudy Gay dropped 26 including a shot with 13 seconds to go to take the lead. Jerryd Bayless added 21 points to fill the gap of point guard. Mike Conley Jr, the starting point guard, was out with a sprained left ankle.

Memphis is the best defensive team in the league and fourth in the Western Conference with a record of 29-15. Their star front-court consisting of All-Star Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, and Rudy Gay proved to be too much for the Sixers. All 3 players rained in key baskets to silence the Sixers’ 54 percent shooting performance.

The Sixers (18-26) had a 17-point advantage on Memphis in the second quarter and it looked like the Sixers would get their first back-to-back wins since November 30 after routing the Knicks on Saturday. But the Grizzlies clawed their way back erasing the deficit, outscoring the Sixers in the second quarter 37-21.

Evan Turner showed off his high potential and scored 27 points. Turners’ scoring has been critical to the Sixers success because Jrue Holiday needs help with the team’s scoring responsibilities. Late in the fourth, when Turner was making every shot. his teammates failed to give him the ball when they needed the scoring the most.

Gasol blocks Nick Young’s last-second shot attempt (via MCall).

The fourth quarter was a chest match as both teams failed to pull away. It came down to the last Sixers possession down 101-100 with 13 seconds to go. Thaddeus Young received a pass from Holiday in the lane and failed to make the jump hook. Otherwise, Thaddeus had a great game scoring 23 points and pulling down 7 boards. Thad has been the consistent spark for Sixers every game but he did not come through when they needed it most.

Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph exposed the Sixers big men throughout the game. The Sixers do not have many options at the center position and Doug Collins was forced to play Kwame Brown at critical points in the contest. Kwame is not even remotely as skilled as either Randolph or Gasol and the duo combined for 19 boards and 31 points.

Andrew Bynum, who would fill the missing piece at center, would limit big nights for opposing centers. He is expected to be back after the All-Star break. He’s making progress, dunking on Sunday for the first time following his knee injury. He also sprinted in the shoot-around and could practice by the end of this week.

The Sixers and fans are praying for the former the 7-foot All-Star to be back in action and help the team reach the playoffs and contend for a title.

Player of the Game: Evan Turner

His teammates might have slacked off in the last three quarters, but Turner played another very good game. With 27 points on 12-of-18 (66.6%) shooting, he is starting to string together impressive performances scoring-wise.


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Categories: 76ers, Beat Writing

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