The Grizzlies lost their first game of the season as they fell to the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night 103-94 at American Airlines Center.
Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews put his team on the board first, but Grizzlies guard Mike Conley came back and answered with a three of his own in the next possession. However, with 9:10 left in the first quarter, the Mavericks went on a 13-0 run over the next 3:19 to bring the score to 19-7. After the first quarter, Dallas outscored the Grizzlies 32-18.
The Grizzlies began chewing into the Mavericks lead in the second quarter, bringing it back to single-digits after back-to-back buckets by Jarell Martin. Tyreke Evans proved again to be a weapon off the bench for the Grizzlies as he scored a quick nine points midway through the quarter. However, Mavericks guard JJ Barea was hot from three-point range, knocking down three shots from beyond the arc in the second quarter alone. The Grizzlies trailed by eight at halftime at 57-49, despite another double digit scoring half from Gasol, Conley, and Evans, who combined for 34 of the team’s 49 points.
Coming out of the half, the Grizzlies continued to cut into the Mavericks lead, pulling within three points after a steal and three-point play by Andrew Harrison. Three points would be the closest the Grizzlies would come to the Mavericks for the remainder of the game. The Grizzlies trailed by seven going into final quarter at 79-72.
Gasol led all scorers with 26 points and recorded his third double-double this season, grabbing 11 rebounds. Gasol is now averaging 25 points and 10.3 rebounds per game over the last four games. Conley also scored in double figures with 21 points.
Dennis Smith Jr. led the way for the Mavericks, shooting 67 percent from the field and adding three three-pointers for 19 points on the night. Wesley Matthews also put up 16 points while Harrison Barnes contributed 15.
The Grizzlies look to split the back-to-back series with the Mavericks as they return to FedExForum tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Tune in to FOX Sports Southeast presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN for all the action.
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How would you explain the slow start on both sides of the ball
I just felt like we didn’t come out with the right mentality. I think there was a part of us that were feeling ourselves and I think reading our own headlines. But we played this team very casually like we were going to have it under control no matter what, and you can’t get down to a good, well-coached team like that. They were desperate. They’ve been going through a lot of stuff emotionally, and I just don’t feel like we gave the game the proper respect that it deserved.
You kept getting the deficit to single digits, and even got it to 3 at one one—why couldn’t you get over the hump
I don’t know. It was always some kind of boneheaded play [that] would come back to bite us, miss free throws, or we give up a timely three. But for whatever reason we kept digging, kept digging, but we can’t get ourselves into that early hole like we did, especially on the road.
On Memphis’ slow start on both sides of the ball
I felt offensively we kept missing shots for the most part. Then I think the ball got static when you move the ball like you are supposed to, especially when they stop playing zone, it kind of got stuck. Defensively, we did a great job on the ball and obviously they are a good team and they know how to move [the ball]. They are patient and disciplined and they did a good job of finding their guys and it’s hard when you are trying to cheat a little bit and help. Those things you are trying to do, their spacing kind of doesn’t allow you to do that.
On the Grizzlies’ inability to overcome the deficit
We didn’t get stops. It’s that simple. You don’t get stops and you trade baskets, you don’t have a chance to win. You don’t get enough stops; you won’t be able to get over the hump. I think that you have seen enough games, that if we don’t play d[efense].. I don’t think we didn’t play d[efense], we just didn’t play enough good d[efense] and we are not disciplined enough for us to win
- Marc Gasol scored 26 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and dished four assists.
- Mike Conley finsihed wiht 21 points and three assists.
- Tyreke Evens contributed 13 points off the bench.