The Memphis Grizzlies’ hard play and early lead were not enough during Tuesday night’s home matchup versus the Orlando Magic, as the game slipped through their fingers with a fourth-quarter rally by the Magic.

The Grizz led by as much as 17 in the contest and possessed a 13-point halftime advantage before collapsing in the second half and eventually falling to Orlando by the score of 120-115.

This is certainly a disappointing loss for Memphis because in their last 16 games they will be playing 15 teams that are vying for a playoff spot. The Magic entered Tuesday evening’s contest with a lousy 13-20 record on the road so it is hard to blame anybody for circling the game on the calendar as one in which the Grizzlies should win in theory.

Turnovers and Terrence Ross. Those are the two primary reasons Grizzlies fans had to put White Out to their calendars.

The Grizz coughed up 21 turnovers on the evening, which the Magic cashed in on by scoring 17 points off Memphis’ mishaps. While 17 points off turnovers is not exactly a backbreaking amount, gifting the opponent 21 extra chances en route to a five-point loss is a statistic that will rightfully garner some attention.

Terrence Ross was just one of Orlando’s players who was appreciative of the gifts the Grizzlies were giving. After three tame quarters from Ross, the sharpshooter exploded for 18 of the Magic’s 35 fourth quarter points and shooting them to victory. Ross finished with 24 points but hit two dagger three-pointers in crunch time to seal the deal for his team.

Four Grizzlies finished in double figures. The team was led by Jonas Valanciunas who dropped 27 points and brought down 16 rebounds for his 34th double-double on the season.

Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks followed up with 21 points a piece while the pair also shot an identical 7-for-16 from the floor.

Josh Jackson continues his excellent month of March with his fifth straight game scoring in double-digits by pouring in 15 points off the bench. With Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke sidelined with injuries, Memphis found themselves in desperate need of an unlikely source to step up and account for the lost offensive production. Josh Jackson has been that and more.

Being a young team, it is paramount that the Grizzlies employ a short-term memory mindset. Next up, Memphis hits the road for a three-game road trip beginning in Portland on Thursday night. The Trail Blazers picked up a game on Tuesday to trim the Grizz playoff lead down to 3.5 games so their matchup on Thursday is doubly important.

The Grizzlies may be getting some reinforcements back in time for the pivotal battle with the Blazers. The team released a statement regarding Jackson Jr. and Justise Winslow, who was a part of the Andre Iguodala deal with the Heat at the trade deadline, that both players are expected to return sometime this week

 

Feature image via Nelson Chenault of USA TODAY Sports


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