So there I was, about halfway through the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies up by double digits and, despite their recent track record of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, they appeared to be cruising to a win. So I decide to start heading downstairs, get a head start on the trek to the media room for postgame stuff.
Then I bumped into Ms. Mary, who works at FedExForum. I overheard her say that sleet had already started, the early edges of a winter storm that now has blanketed the Mid-South. So, change of plans. Not wanting to get stuck in the postgame, black ice traffic, I bounced on home.
So I’m pulling out the classic written three-point play for yesterday’s MLK game win, a 123-114 victory for the home team. We still have great photos from Warren Roseborough, let’s get into it!
Those Uniforms: I’m sorry. I can’t even start with actual on-court play. I’m still stuck on the MLK game uniforms, which were inspired by the I AM A Man! signs of the 1968 Sanitation Workers strike which brought Dr. King to Memphis. Last year’s MLK unis, with the “seafoam accents” and the wreath were certainly well thought out and appreciated. But seeing these uniforms . . . I dunno, you could make a case that these become the permanent home whites. I’m just saying.
Everybody scores! Interim Head Coach J.B. Bickerstaff dispersed minutes among 10 players in the game, and eight of them scored in double digits. Grizz rookie Dillon Brooks got the party started early, knocking down a couple of early three-pointers en route to a 19-point outing. Marc Gasol added 17 points. And on the very last play of the game, Tyreke Evans barely missed a triple double as JaMychal Green snatched the rebound that would have given Evans a triple-double. Evans finished with 15 points, 12 assists and nine boards. For the Lakers, who were playing without
Lavar Ball’s son rookie Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led all scorers with 27 points.
The (mostly) Decisive Run. At one point, the Grizzlies led by 14 points in the first half. But as they say, it’s a game of runs. The Lakers had theirs in the third quarter, battling bakc to within 67-65 with 7:09 on the clock. After that? Memphis ran off a 15-2 run of their own, rebuilding the lead to 20 by the end of the quarter. The Lakers threatened a little bit more toward the end of the game, but never really got close.
Next: The Grizzlies are in the midst of an extended home stretch. After the Knicks come to town on Wednesday, Memphis welcomes home “No. 50 for the City” — Zach Randolph returns with the Sacramento Kings.