The Memphis Grizzlies proved Friday why they boast the best record in the NBA.
Memphis dismantled the Boston Celtics at FedEx Forum, overwhelming the visitors with a heavy, methodical attack en route to a 117-110 victory.
— Seven Grizzlies players were listed as questionable for the game after a stomach bug swept through the team, but only Tony Allen and Quincy Pondexter were held out.
— The Grizzlies’ highly touted frontcourt duo of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph performed exactly as advertised. Gasol led all scorers with 32 points, and Randolph turned in a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Adding the contributions of Jon Leuer and Kosta Koufos off the bench, Memphis’ bigs combined to score 71 of the team’s 117 points.
— Leuer looked like the best player on the court in the second quarter. The fourth-year power forward out of Wisconsin played nine of the 12 minutes of the frame and dominated, compiling 10 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. Leuer added nine more points in the fourth quarter to finish with a season-high 19.
Not too shabby for a guy who was too sick to even take the floor two days earlier.
— As was the case Wednesday night in Philadelphia, the Celtics’ bench helped keep Boston in the game in the second quarter. Marcus Thornton and Evan Turner combined for nine points in the first three minutes of the frame. Both players ultimately reached double figures, with Thornton finishing with 11 points and Turner adding 10 to go along with six rebounds and five assists.
— Kelly Olynyk put on a show in the third quarter, scoring 14 of his 18 points. Unfortunately for the Celtics, he was not nearly as hot early in the game. Olynyk nailed a 3-pointer on his second shot of the night but did not score again until the 10:27 mark of the third, finishing the first half a subpar 1-for-7 from the floor.
“I think we played well in stretches, but there were certainly stretches where we didn’t,” head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the game. “… We were at best an inconsistent team.”
— The Celtics did not shoot their first free throws until the 2:53 mark of the second quarter.
— Celtics rookie Dwight Powell scored his first NBA points, finishing an alley-oop from Phil Pressey late in the fourth quarter. James Young also logged two minutes in garbage time.
— Two streaks continued Friday night:
117-100, Final The Celtics have lost 23 consecutive road games against the Western Conference. The Grizzlies have won 21 straight at home.—
Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) November 22, 2014
— After the brief respite that was Wednesday’s 76ers matchup, the Grizzlies tilt marked the beginning of another brutal stretch for the Celtics. Up next for the C’s are two division leaders in the Portland Trail Blazers and Chicago Bulls and the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.
Photo via Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports Images