Four games, four losses.
That is not how the Memphis Grizzlies anticipated coming out of the All-Star break. After a win over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Grizz entered the All-Star break over .500 for the first time all season at 28-27.
It was on Wednesday night when the road trip from hell ended for the Grizzlies. The Houston Rockets, led by James Harden and Russell Westbrook, poured it on Memphis for the first three quarters of the contest before being pulled in the fourth as their services were no longer needed.
Sometimes a lopsided final score may not indicate how a game went. Not this time. This game was every bit of the blowout that the 140-112 final score indicated.
Harden and Westbrook combined for 63 points as the best backcourt in basketball was on full display.
The 140 points allowed marks the second highest total scored against the Memphis Grizzlies all season, only topped by a Dec. 23 effort from the San Antonio Spurs which produced a whopping 145 points in Memphis.
Dillon Brooks paced the Grizz with a 22-point outing on a meager 9-of-26 from the floor that included 4-of-10 from the three-point line.
Jonas Valanciunas followed up with a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double while Ja Morant rounded out the trio of Grizzlies in double figures with 12 points and nine assists.
15 points | 10 boards.
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) February 27, 2020
The only positive element that came out of this game was that it was the final stop on an absolutely dreadful road trip, which also featured losses to the Kings, Lakers, and Clippers.
No matter what gym the Grizzlies were shooting in, they could not seem to get anything to fall. Memphis found the bottom of the net on a modest 44 percent of their shots from the floor including a mediocre 33 percent from beyond the arc.
Only three Grizzlies achieved 20-point performances during the four-game spell. Brooks, Josh Jackson, and DeAnthony Melton.
If those are the three best options for a bucket, trouble lies ahead.
The Grizzlies’ average margin of defeat on their trip out west was a staggering 18 points. The loss against Houston was the third consecutive game where Memphis had fallen by double digits.
Grizzlies will complete a 4-game road trip in which they led for a grand total of 1:57 of a possible 192 total minutes. They trailed by more than 20 points for 63 of those minutes.
Hard to imagine a more thoroughly depressing road trip.
— Peter Edmiston (@peteredmiston) February 27, 2020
The Grizz will have one day to get home and rest up before hitting the hardwood again. A back-to-back in the friendly confines of the FedExForum awaits beginning on Friday night. Memphis will have a chance to run it back against two teams they came up short against within the last week in the Kings and the Lakers.
Memphis still clutches a 2.5-game lead on the Trail Blazers for the eight seed in the Western Conference. With Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke both expected to miss at least the next 10 days, the Grizzlies will be forced to return to their underdog mentality which faired the team well in the early stages of the season.