Postgame recap: Grizzlies 103, Pelicans 91

BOXSCORE || PHOTOS || QUOTES || VIDEOS

Grizzlies (1-0), Pelicans (0-1)

MEMPHIS – New Orleans’ All-Star big-man combination of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins put up big numbers Wednesday and – as planned – were the focal point of the offense much of the night in FedEx Forum. To Memphis’ credit, however, the Grizzlies held the duo to inefficient shooting numbers and kept much of the rest of the Pelicans under control, en route to a season-opening Southwest Division victory. In beating New Orleans for the sixth time in the last seven meetings in Tennessee, the Grizzlies erased an early deficit by limiting the Pelicans to low offensive outputs in the final three quarters.

Overall, Davis and Cousins combined to score 61 points on 18/44 shooting from the field. Davis was battling strep throat, having sat out Tuesday’s practice prior to traveling to Memphis with the team.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Memphis rookie Dillon Brooks knocked down a difficult fadeaway jumper in the middle of the lane, giving the Grizzlies a 99-86 lead with 3:15 remaining. Brooks, who went 5/5 on threes in last week’s preseason game vs. New Orleans, hurt the Pelicans again by notching 19 points in his NBA debut.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Much like his team, Cousins came charging out of the gate with a big scoring, rebounding and blocking first quarter. He finished the night with 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks. Call it a toss-up between he and Davis for game honors, as the sixth-year Pelican went for 33 points and 18 rebounds. Davis said in the postgame locker room that due to his strep throat, he had to take two IVs prior to tip-off.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“I thought we started the first quarter playing the way we should. I thought we had good ball movement. We got good shots. From there on out I thought that our ball movement wasn’t very good.” – Alvin Gentry on the Pelicans’ offense, which generated eight first-quarter assists but only seven total over the final three quarters combined

“We had some turnovers, I know that. We have to take care of the ball. That was one of the factors.” – E’Twaun Moore (11 points, 4 rebounds) on NOLA’s drop-off in performance after the opening quarter

“I feel fine. It’s not an excuse. We just have to be better as a team.” – Davis, when asked how he felt physically playing through his illness

BY THE NUMBERS

57: New Orleans points in the final three periods, after it tallied 34 in the opening stanza and led 34-27. The Pelicans were held to 18 points apiece in the middle quarters.

38.0: Pelicans shooting percentage from the field. Beyond Cousins and Davis, the squad was 12/35, including the other starters going 9/26.

53: Memphis bench points. At least on opening night, a Grizzlies team with several new faces and unproven pieces didn’t look like it will have an issue with depth this season.

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