In their 2017 preseason opener, the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Orlando Magic 92-84 on Monday night at FedExForum.
The Grizzlies struggled to gain a significant lead throughout the game shooting 40 percent from the field to the Magic’s 36.4 percent. However, with 4:10 remaining in the fourth quarter, Memphis went on a 6-0 run over the next 2:42 to push the score to 90-80 and tie their largest lead of the game.
Mario Chalmers posted 13 of his game-high 19 points in the first half and shot 7-of-10 from the field. Jarell Martin also scored in double figures, contributing 16 points and four rebounds while Wade Baldwin put up eight points and six rebounds.
Jonathan Isaac led the Magic with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting while Mario Hezonja also scored in double figures with 12 points.
The Grizzlies will hit the road to take on Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers this Wednesday, October 4 at the Wells Fargo Center. Tune in to FOX Sports Southeast presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN for all the action.
Next Home Game
The Grizzlies will return home for more preseason action on Wednesday, October 11 at 8:30pm to face off against the Rockets.
Key Stat of the Night
- In his first game action since March 9, 2016, Mario Chalmers posted a game-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Chalmers scored 13 of his 19 points in the first half.
Key Run of the Night
- Leading 84-80 with 4:10 remaining in the game, the Grizzlies went on a 6-0 run over the next 2:42 to tie their largest lead of the game and pull away for good.
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On Mario Chalmers’ journey back to health
He went to the bottom. When you go through an Achilles [injury], I’m sure there are moments where you’re not sure if it’s ever going to happen again. You know, for me to be with him his whole career, and now for me to be here to see him making his comeback is very gratifying for me. It’s an honor for me because I’m invested in [Mario’s] life. We’ve got deep, deep roots. So I’m just happy for the kid, to see him out there competing, playing in NBA games again.
On his expectations for the team at the moment
I just expect professionalism and hard work and real competitors. That’s all I expect from them. I don’t know what this team is going to be. I like our group. If we can continue to just connect and buy into the system that we’re putting in place – I don’t want to put a ceiling on this team, because I honestly have no idea how good they can.
On this year’s team
We have a lot of guys who can make plays. We don’t have just one designated ball handler. Anyone who gets the rebound can push it and make plays for everybody else. It was fun to see the ball movement and guys just driving and kicking and creating a different kind of game that we haven’t played before.
On how he feels about his game
I feel like it’s coming. Anybody who comes off an injury, you want to go out there and just prove yourself. I was talking to [Coach] Fizdale and he just told me to settle down and play my game and be the savvy veteran that I am. I just have to keep it in my mind to settle down, make sure I’m teaching the young guys and just be a leader by example.
- Jarell Martin recorded 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting to go with four rebounds in just 22 minutes. His scoring total was one shy of his regular season career high (17 points on March 14, 2016 at Houston).
- Brandan Wright pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
- Wade Baldwin was the only person in tonight’s game to record at least eight points and six rebounds. In last year’s preseason opener against Orlando at FedExForum, Baldwin led the Grizzlies with 15 points on 5-of-5 shooting.
- Rookie Jonathan Isaac made his debut in a Magic uniform, posting a team-high 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting.