“Stop the fight!”
Those three words make up what was likely the most uttered phrase Wednesday night by viewers of the Memphis Grizzlies’ dominating 118-79 victory on the road against the Brooklyn Nets.
The demolishing performance marks the second consecutive game in which the Grizzlies won by 39 points.
The Grizzlies followed a 39-point win at the Hawks on Monday by beating the Nets by 39 points tonight…
Memphis is the 3rd team in NBA history to win consecutive road games by 35+ points, joining the 1969-70 Knicks and 2006-07 Spurs – both those teams went on to win the title. pic.twitter.com/OcOWAXxxiK
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 5, 2020
Two straight 39-point blowout wins are impressive. But the fact that Memphis has achieved the feat while missing two pivotal players in Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke who are nursing injuries, is exciting for Grizzlies fans.
Just like the thrashing the Grizz put on in Atlanta versus the Hawks on Monday, Memphis blew the doors wide open in the second half.
Depth played a critical role in the second half slaughtering on Wednesday night where the Grizzlies outscored the Nets by the score of 66-34 in the second half.
Josh Jackson paced Memphis with 19 points coming off the bench while fellow reserve Tyus Jones followed up with 18 points with seven rebounds and six assists.
Five Grizzlies finished in double figures as Ja Morant dropped 15 points with seven boards and five dimes on the evening. Dillon Brooks and Kyle Anderson each chipped in 12 in the win.
Jonas Valanciunas turned in another solid effort on the glass with 16 rebounds coupled with nine points, just one shy of his 31st double-double on the season. Gorgui Dieng also cleaned the glass with 14 rebounds off the bench.
The bench fell shy of matching the 72-point performance against Atlanta, but it will be impossible to find anyone complaining about the 61 bench points the reserves totaled in the matchup with Brooklyn.
Memphis is not only getting offensive contributions across the board, but it is their team defense that is most impressive. Wednesday’s 79 points allowed in Brooklyn is the third consecutive outing where the Grizzlies have held their opponent under 90 points.
That just does not happen in today’s NBA.
In fact, the last time a team was able to stifle their opponents at such an effective rate came when the Jazz held opponents below the 90-point threshold back in March of 2018.
— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) March 5, 2020
This time last week the Grizzlies appeared to be headed in a downward spiral. They lost four games on the road, three in blowout fashion. Their two best forwards – Jackson Jr and Clarke-both fell victim to the injury bug and there seemed to be a lid on the basket that the Griz starters could not knock off.
Fast forward seven days.
Memphis has just won back-to-back road games by 39 points after a convincing win on their home floor against the Los Angeles Lakers. And neither of those three teams could even crack 90 points.
More good news came prior to Wednesday’s game as head coach Taylor Jenkins revealed that Jackson Jr. “is progressing in a positive direction” and, depending on reevaluation results, could be back in action as early as next week.
As @jarenjacksonjr pushed through court workout before tonight's @memgrizz game at @BrooklynNets, Jenkins confirms Jackson's recovery "is progressing in a positive direction." Jenkins says Jackson return from knee sprain may be as soon as next week, based on reevaluation results. pic.twitter.com/oWhIrk9vE1
— Michael Wallace (@MyMikeCheck) March 4, 2020
The Grizzlies finish up what has been an outstanding road trip to this point in Dallas as they face off with a Mavericks squad loaded with young talent on Friday night at 7:30 CST. A matchup between Morant and Luka Dončić will undoubtedly be must-see television.