In a game that had little to no flow, the Grizzlies hopped out in front of the Suns early and never looked back. For Phoenix, they were without their leading scorer, guard Devin Booker (hamstring). This year’s number one overall draft pick, Deandre Ayton, performed admirably in his absence but the disparity between the two rosters was too great for one super rookie to handle.
With Chandler Parsons sidelined with sore knees, Memphis rolled out a starting lineup of Mike Conley, Garrett Temple, Kyle Anderson, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Marc Gasol.
Marc started off the game well and led all scorers in the first quarter with 9 points. Jaren Jackson Jr. picked up two fouls with just under five minutes left in the first quarter, limiting his impact on the game. He ended the game with 5 fouls and never got in a rhythm, playing less than 15 total minutes in the match. JJJ ended with only 6 points and 2 boards on five shots. For the Suns, Deandre Ayton was a non factor and only attempted one shot and grabbed two rebound in the initial period. Marc Gasol took it as a personal challenge to be the better big man and he succeeded. The Grizzlies led by 9 after the first quarter, 26-18.
In the second quarter we got to witness Ivan Rabb briefly, who got some minutes with JJJ in foul trouble. He was clearly over matched by Ayton, and struggled to get anything going offensively in the game, but did manage to grab 6 rebounds in the contest. Wayne Selden (14 pts) had his best game of the young season. In back to back possessions in the second quarter he drained a 3 and then converted an and-one on the next possession.
Eventually, Deandre Ayton did get things rolling and had an impressive game. He was deadly around the rim and finished with a team high 24 points and converted on 12-13 shots. It is clear that he has the athleticism and knowledge of the game that will make him an all-star. For Phoenix, Isaiah Canaan and Jamal Crawford both contributed 11 points while rookie Elie Okobo earned himself a dozen.
The Grizzlies ended with 5 players scoring in double figures in this 96-117 victory.
The nail in the coffin for this game came right before half when Marc Gasol drained a 30ft three pointer with .5 seconds left. Yesterday was a good Marc game as he looked very motivated and played with a lot of emotion. Gasol (19p/8r/3a) and Mike Conley (18p/7a) ran the pick and roll well and pretty much had their way with the Phoenix defense.
Garrett Temple (15p/3r) played another solid game and appears to be the glue holding this team together right now. So far this season, he has proved to be the most valuable addition. Kyle Anderson (6p/2r) has still not found his niche on the team, and showed visible signs of frustration on both ends of the floor last night. MarShon Brooks (18p/3r) hit a pair of threes in the game and looked really good on offense. He continues to put the hurt on bad teams, but to prove himself, will need to do that against a more worthy adversary.
Memphis controlled the game in transition, scoring 18 fast break points and only giving up 6. In the paint, Memphis led with 52 points to the Suns’ 44.
In garbage time, Yuta Watanabe and Andrew Harrison both made their debut appearances this season and earned 2 points a piece.
You can check out the full box score HERE.
Blue Note Bourbon Player of the Game
Marc Gasol – With his team high 19 points and 8 rebounds, Marc took control of the game early and set the tone for this drubbing. He took it as a personal challenge to assert his dominance over the rookie center and he did just that.
Next Man Up
Washington Wizards @ Home, Tuesday October 30th. 7:00 PM