Picture a NBA team deep down by 31 points in the fourth quarter at home and you have the Memphis Grizzlies en route to losing to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night.
A closing run made the final score 111-101, but did nothing to change the overall picture — Memphis continues to lose and – at times – looks really bad doing it.
The Grizzlies lost their third straight and are 7-20 since starting the season 12-5. And that third quarter in which the Bucks took over the game was the latest nightmare.
A 19-0 Milwaukee burst led to the Bucks outscoring Memphis 41-28 in the frame. And Memphis coach J.B. Bickerstaff continued to repeat the key stat in his postgame comments — eight turnovers for 20 Milwaukee points in the third.
“It’s pretty simple,” Bickerstaff said. “Unforced turnovers, live ball turnovers at the top of the floor that lead to transition dunks, easy baskets.”
The Memphis reserves played better than the starters, with Omri Casspi leading the Grizzlies with 17 points, JaMychal Green added 14 points, along with 10 rebounds and three blocks. Mike Conley and Marc Gasol also scored 14 points each for Memphis.
And the Memphis miseries are leading to frustration for the Grizzlies.
“We’ve lost 10, lost 11, so we’ve got to take a stance as a team and we’ve got to stop this slide,” Casspi said. “It’s been like that for a while, so enough talking. We’ve got to do more on the court.”
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Antetokounmpo recorded his 30th double-double of the season.
Grizzlies: Memphis played its only home game in a five-game stretch. Memphis missed 10 of its first 11 shots in the game, part of the Grizzlies shooting 26 percent in the opening quarter. . The Bucks’ 41 points in the third quarter was the most given up by Memphis in any period this season. … .JaMychal Green recorded his fifth double-double of the season.
As Bickerstaff tries to find some combination to get a boost for his team, he inserted Justin Holiday into the starting lineup. Holiday, obtained from the Chicago Bulls in a Jan. 4 trade, lasted about four minutes before he picked up his second foul and didn’t re-enter the game until the second half. “We need him to play well,” Bickerstaff said. “We need him to be comfortable so that he can contribute at the level that we think we can.” Holiday finished with five points, including making his first 3-pointer for Memphis.
Bucks: At Orlando to face the Magic on Saturday
Grizzlies: Face the Celtics in Boston on Friday