Heres an NBA adage: Dont worry about how you play the game. Worry about how you finish the game.
In a night of beginnings, the end of the game turned sour for the Memphis Grizzlies in a 90-80 loss to the Detroit Pistons.
More specifically, Pistons star Jerry Stackhouse and his 15 fourth-quarter points turned the home opener into a lost cause. Stackhouse would lead all scorers with 34 points in the game. The Pistons also received 24 points from forward Clifford Robinson.
The Grizzlies started strongly in their Memphis stand, leading at the half 36-43 and also leading by as much as twelve points during the game. The squad relied on a balanced effort by its starters as center Lorenzen Wright scored 17 points and pulled in 13 rebounds, forward Stromile Swift scored 16 points and pulled in 10 rebounds, guard Jason Williams scored 11 points and passed out seven assists, and as guard Michael Dickerson scored 15 points.
Swifts game didnt take off until the second half when he drew three straight fouls from Detroit center Ben Wallace, limiting Wallaces production in the game. Wright worked the entire game though he started slow against Robinsons defensive efforts. Dickerson struggled the entire night, looking unable to create his shot rather than to take advantage of catch and shoot situations. And not only was Williams quieter that usual, he also gave up four critical turnovers in the last five minutes to allow Stackhouse to put his team up for good.
Most quiet was rookie forward Shane Battier who scored only seven points and pulled down seven rebounds. During the pre-season, Battier made up for his lack of productivity with stellar defensive efforts. This game ended with Battier registering no steals and no blocks.
It was a choppy game, Battier said of both teams performance. There was no flow to the game. Neither team hit its shots.
Head coach Sidney Lowe said after the game that ending the game poorly was not as distressing as letting the Pistons back in the game. Im more disappointed that we had a 12 point lead [and lost it], Lowe said. If we took care of business there, we wouldnt have been in that position at the end of the game. We threw the ball away.
The Grizzlies have little time to contemplate the loss as they travel to Minnesota for a game this evening, Friday, November 2nd. The team returns home on Sunday, November 2nd for a contest against the Dallas Mavericks at the Pyramid at 2 p.m.