Sunday, December 1, 2019

'Funky Lineups' Help Grizzlies End 6-Game Losing Streak

Posted By on Sun, Dec 1, 2019 at 7:03 PM

The Grizzlies ended their six-game losing streak against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday afternoon, 115–107. Unlikely heroes emerged for the team, which played without Ja Morant (back soreness), Kyle Anderson (heel soreness) and big man Jonas Valanciunas (illness). To make matters worse, Brandon Clarke also left the game with an aggravated hip injury. 

click to enlarge Dillon Brooks - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Dillon Brooks

Taylor Jenkins had clear instructions for his short-handed team on the road: "I hit the guys with a simple message that we were going to have some funky lineups up there and I just need guys going up there and competing," he said. "That's what we're all about and that's what we need to get back to and I'm super proud of them. To come out here against a playoff team, with a high level back-and-forth for our guys to dig down for 48 minutes it created energy for us and that's the positive spirit we need to have, win or lose and to come out on top of that, cements the recipe we're talking about."

click to enlarge Dillon Brooks, Taylor Jenkins - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Dillon Brooks, Taylor Jenkins

Jenkins continued, "Our bench was huge for us today and we got that production from our starters and our bench not just on the offensive side but our defense was amazing and it was a great team effort and these guys deserved it."

Dillon Brooks led the Grizzlies with 26 points, going 4-of-5 from the three-point line.
When Brooks scores 20 or more points, this team usually wins. "We just found a way and figured it out, said Brooks of winning on the road. "It started with our defense and then we translated into our offense."


Bruno Caboclo and De'Anthony Melton played significant minutes to help their team secure the victory. Caboclo added 12 points and 13 rebounds in 29 minutes for his first double-double of the season. With 12 pts and 10 rebounds in the 2nd half, Caboclo became the first reserve to post a double-double in a single half since Zach Randolph in 2016. Melton ended the game with nine points, a team-high eight assists, seven rebounds, and two steals in 23 minutes.




Notes

In his first game back in Minnesota, Tyus Jones ended with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, four rebounds, and seven assists.

“We did whatever we had to get a win at this point — and stop the losing streak we had been on, said Jones.” We corrected what needed to be corrected and it says a lot about this team and how we are able to stick with it. We came on the road here and beat a good team.”

Grayson Allen had a good game off the bench with 13 points on 4-of-9 from the field and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Allen also grabbed five rebounds.

For just the third time this season the Grizzlies outscored an opponent in the third period, 38-32. Jones said it was their focus to have a big third quarter. He said, "We talked about it at half-time and we wanted to come out and not let them go on a run and not let the third quarter be the difference in a negative way and let it be a positive for us."

Solomon Hill tallied 11 points and five rebounds. Hill finished with a game high +22.

Karl-Anthony Towns was held to 7-of-21 from the field. He ended the game with 21 points and 12 rebounds. It was his 15th double-double of the season.

Quotables
Taylor Jenkins, Grizzlies head coach

On what it was that resulted in a strong second half…

“I think we let it slip away in the second quarter. We didn’t get a bucket, they would score, we turned it over and our guys were pissed off. They realized we had this lead on the road and we needed to go win a ball game and they kept their spirits up. They recognized that wasn’t good enough to finish, let’s come out the second half with our foot on the gas pedal and they started it with defense. It was a back and forth game but our guys had that mentality and broke through with the right stops, execution, and effort.”

Dillon Brooks, Grizzlies guard
On using unfamiliar lineups, but having success…

“We practice and we practice hard. Everyone’s focused, everyone knows the plays. Everyone is professional and is ready to contribute when their time comes. With Ja [Morant] out, Brandon [Clarke] out, Kyle [Anderson] out, and JV [Jonas Valanciunas], guys stepped up.”

On how the team defended Karl-Anthony Towns…

“We pressured the heck out of him, we didn’t want him getting to his spots. We just contested every single three he had. You know, he shot 1-for-10, that was great. A tribute to Jaren [Jackson]’s contests, Bruno [Caboclo]’s contests and just playing physical with him.”

Up Next
The Grizzlies return home to host the Indiana Pacers at FedExForum on Monday. Tip-off at 7 p.m. CST. 

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