VOL. 133 | NO. 71 | Monday, April 9, 2018
Grizzlies Win Home Finale Over Pistons
By Don Wade
The Memphis Grizzlies saved their best for last. Playing their final game at FedExForum of the season, the Grizzlies set several season highs in a 130-117 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday afternoon.
The Grizzlies achieved their season peak in points (130), made 3-pointers (16), assists (36) and field goal percentage (57.8 percent). MarShon Brooks led the scoring with 25 points and center Marc Gasol (20 points, nine rebounds and nine assists) and rookie Dillon Brooks (22 points, eight rebounds and eight assists) were on the cusp of getting triple-doubles.
Memphis Grizzlies guard MarShon Brooks (8) drives to the basket in the second half of an NBA game against the Detroit Pistons Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Memphis. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
At 22-58 with two road games left in the season, the Grizzlies delivered an “anti-tank” game that may or may not impact where they pick in the NBA Draft Lottery as they snapped a four-game losing streak. Gasol voiced appreciation for fans that have continued to support the team in this “tough” season.
“Through the bad and the worse … to me, it means a lot,” Gasol said.
“You could see from the beginning our guys were into it and were here to play well in front of our home crowd,” said Memphis interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff. “How we feel about (the fans) and how much we appreciate them is hard to put a value on.”
The Grizzlies had their largest lead of the game at 46-26 in the second quarter. Detroit cut the lead to one, at 68-67, with 8:06 remaining in the third quarter. Memphis answered with a 10-0 run to boost the lead to 11 points.
“Our defense was horrendous,” said Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy. “I mean, they’re the next to the worst offensive team in the league and they scored over 30 (points) every quarter.”
The Pistons did hit a season-best 23 threes on 47 attempts, the high for any Grizzlies opponent this season. Seven Pistons scored in double-figures led by Anthony Tolliver’s 19 points.
Memphis rookie Kobi Simmons scored a career-high 20 points and had a career-best seven assists while knocking down 4-of-7 from behind the arc.
“Getting some time has definitely built my confidence,” Simmons said.
Meanwhile, MarShon Brooks has scored 20 or more points in each of his five games with the Grizzlies; the team signed him to a multi-year contract after initially bringing him in on a 10-day agreement.
“Scoring has always been my deal,” he said, “but I’ve just tried to become a good enough defender to be on the court. When I’m on the court, I’ll score the ball.”
The Grizzlies finished with a 16-25 (.390 winning percentage) mark at home, their worst record at FedExForum since having the same record in the 2008-09 season.