With a Western Conference play-in tournament berth secured by a 115-110 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans Monday (May 10), the Memphis Grizzlies now are focused on the next step –- seeding.
Memphis has its remaining five games to best position itself for the play-in tournament and a shot at a regular playoff berth.
With Monday’s win, the Grizzlies improved to (35-33), leaving them in ninth place and still a half-game behind the No. 8 Golden State Warriors. The Grizzlies can move up to at least eighth place by winning out.
After leading Memphis in scoring on Monday against the Pelicans, Dillon Brooks was asked about the push for post-season positioning.
“It takes playing with intensity, bring the energy and when things start going wrong and you hit adversity, find a way to have composure,” he said. “For each and every one of us, it takes having that composure, knowledge of the game when the game comes down to the wire, and don’t take any games for granted.”
Last year, the Grizzlies lost their chance to join the Western Conference Playoffs field when they were bounced by a defeat to the Portland Trailblazers.
“(We) learned a lot last year, had a great chance,” said head coach Taylor Jenkins.
“We’re getting tested a lot this time of year trying to find our consistency, trying to find our best basketball of the year. I’m just proud of the guys fighting all season long, especially with the schedule we’re facing right now.
“We just have to keep taking it one day at a time, that’s kind of our M.O. That’s what’s driving us, that’s what allowed us to get this victory today and hopefully we play better tomorrow.”
- Ja Morant scored 10 of his 12 total points in the third quarter as the Grizzlies took over. He also had 12 assists.
- Jonas Valanciunas (eight points) and Brandon Clarke (six points) paced Memphis in the final frame.
- Memphis had a franchise-tying 19 blocked shots.
- All of the Grizzlies’ starters finished in double-digit scoring. In addition to Brooks’ 23 points, Valanciunas had 20 points; Kyle Anderson 14 and Jaren Jackson Jr. 12 points in his second start of the season.
- Memphis shot an awful 59 percent from the free throw line, connecting on 16 of 27 attempts.
- The Grizzlies only had 10 turnovers in the game and dominated in the paint, outscoring the Pelicans 66-52.
- With the loss the Pelicans are close to being eliminated from the play-in race. All-Star big man Zion Williamson sat out the game with an injured finger.
- The Grizzlies host the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday (May 11), with tipoff at 7 p.m. at FedExForum.
- The Mavericks ripped a win from the Grizzlies on April 14, when Luka Doncic hit a three pointer at the buzzer.