Memphis has struggled at home recently, they’ve struggled against Eastern Conference foes, but tonight they blow out the Wizards 112-95. Marc Gasol led the way scoring 24 points followed by Matt Barnes with 20 as the Grizzles shoot a season-high 67% from three point range.
John Wall did not have a pretty start to this game committing four turnovers in the first quarter. With the lead seesawing back and forth in the early stages of this one, Jeff Green spun away from Otto Porter and posterized Marcin Gortat. The Wizards committed seven turnovers but trailed by just 4, 25-21 after one.
Things looked like they might take a turn for the better when Kelly Oubre picked up a steal taking it the length of the court for what would look like an easy dunk. Oubre got swatted from behind by Jeff Green in a “Welcome to the NBA” moment.
Gary Neal was the sole reason the Wizards were fairly competitive in this one. Neal came off the bench and knocked down 6-8 shots including 2-2 from three-point range for 15 points in the second period. The Grizzles ended the quarter on a 8-2 run and led 57-46 at halftime.
Things got ugly to start the third quarter. Gortat was missing layups, Temple was turning the ball over, and just like that; the Wizards found themselves down 16. The Wiz started the quarter 3-12 from the field whereas the Grizzles were 7-10.
Once again, the Wizards decided not to guard Memphis’ three point shooters. Matt Barnes got hot banging two three pointers and just like that, the Wiz were down 21 and it seemed all hope was lost.
The Wizards rode the lineup of Sessions-Neal-Oubre-Humphries-Blair to start the fourth quarter and surprisingly, that got them within 11 points midway through the fourth. The Grizzles would pull away though and win this one, 112-95.
Notes: Gary Neal was the star for the Wizards tonight scoring 24 points on 9-14 shooting. After committing nine turnovers in the first half, the Wizards committed just five in the second. Things don’t get any easier as the Wizards head to San Antonio on Wednesday.