Despite playing on the back end of a back to back and missing their starting back court in Mike Conley and Tony Allen, the Memphis Grizzlies marched into Dallas and blew out the well rested Mavericks, 109-90. Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Chandler Parsons led the way for Dallas with 19 points.
Dallas started the game hot, with Chandler Parsons getting involved immediately with a long jumper, a drive to the rim, and a long three. Dirk Nowitzki got in on the assist game early, wracking up three in a hurry, including a a lob to Tyson Chandler after a pick and roll with Monta Ellis had Memphis on their heels. The early lead didn't last, as the Grizzlies worked themselves back into the game on the strengh of their inside out game, led by All-Star starter Marc Gasol. After going to their bench, the Mavericks kept pace with Memphis and regained the lead with under 30 seconds to go. Former Maverick great Nick Calathes managed to tie game after a pair of free throws and an end-of-quarter steal and lay in. After one period the game stood at 24 each.
The second quarter saw things unravel for Dallas. Jon Leuer, who had missed his previous ten threes dating back to 2014, connected on a rim rattling jumper from beyond the arc. Dirk finally got on the scoreboard with a lefty transition lay up. The big German also got a nifty driving lay up to fall after Rondo set him a rub screen near the block. Then Nick Calathes struck again, hitting an open three. Dirk answered with a post up fade, but a pick and roll switch saw Dirk sag off Calathes again, who buried another jumper. After a Charlie Villanueva drive and dish to Tyson, things came unglued for Dallas. "All of the turnovers" is what I have written in my notes and that's an apt description. Dallas is second in the league in 12 turnovers per game, finished the half with 14, an amazing figure, as no Maverick seemed able to hold on to the rock. Monta Ellis attempted to rally Dallas a bit, but by that point in the quarter Memphis had gone back to their starters. The Grizzlies eventually build a 10 point lead, ending the half 54-44.
The third quarter saw much of the same from Dallas, giving up a putback to Marc Gasol followed by another turnover, this time from Tyson Chandler. Chandler Parsons looked to be the only Maverick with a consistent pulse, driving, shooting, and generally battling to keep Dallas within range. Despite the lead threatening to get out of hand repeatedly, the Mavericks hung around, making a number of mini runs. Al Farouq Aminu made a rare appearance and had a fairly positive impact, but it was to no avail. The Mavericks entered the final period down 72-86.
The last period was ugly. It was so ugly there's little to say.. Memphis just destroyed Dallas. The game was over within a few minutes as Zach Randolph blazed a path of destructuction he started midway through the third period. The benches were cleared with four minutes remaining and Dallas fans got to see a line up featuring all of the end of bench players. Heck, even Greg Smith got to play. I thought he was just an NBA 2k15 create-a-player. The Mavericks lost 109-90. The loss set Dallas back with three straight losses, the first such such streak of the season.
- There's no where in my recap to put my respect for Zach Randolph, but that man is so, so good. He simply ate up Tyson Chandler and there's no other way around it. Dallas had nothing they could do to stop him.
- Remember the time Dallas thought Gal Mekel was better than Nick Calathes? It doesn't REALLY matter, but I'm pissed off right now, so the fact that Dallas can only make reasonable assessments about players older than 26 irritates the crap out of me.
- I'm pretty sick of Rajon Rondo already. He puts up stats (7 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists), but do they ever feel impactful? Maybe I'm just in a post game rage blackout. One thing I'm not wrong about though, is his defense. Getting lit up by Beno Udrih is unacceptable.
- Dwight Powell had a good game against Memphis a few weeks ago. It was destiny that Marc Gasol eat him alive. Poor guy.
- Is there anything positive to take away from this game? Maybe Aminu's energy? Yeah, let's go with that.
- Hey, cool, we play the Rockets tomorrow night! We play them all 4 games on the back end of back to backs! That won't negatively impact Dallas at all (note sarcasm).