Coming on the heels of a disappointing loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Grizzlies roared back with a 128-111 victory against the Washington Wizards Saturday night. The win also snapped a 7-game losing streak on their home court.
#GrzNxtGen: The Future is Bright
Saturday night’s game against the Wizards was a glimpse into the future of the franchise, and a young core who are still a long way from their respective ceilings. Even beloved former Grizzlies legend Tony Allen, aka the Grindfather, has taken notice:
#GNG is playing with a lot of energy and excitement. Getting all the 50/50 balls. Our young team should use this as an opportunity to get better and build on it. No such thing as empty blowout games when you’re young and on the come up — keep goin fellas! 💯— Tony Allen (@aa000G9) December 15, 2019
Dillon Brooks led the Grizzlies in scoring with a team-high 29 points, but arguably the most outstanding performance of the night came from rookie forward Brandon Clarke.
Clarke scored a career-high 25 points, shooting 11-of-14 from the floor, while also providing some absolute gems for a highlight reel, including this play in the 2nd quarter where Clarke put Wizards center Ian Mahinmi on a poster.
BRANDON CLARKE SONNED HIM 😱 pic.twitter.com/kXXF22g7YG— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 15, 2019
Jaren Jackson Jr. closed out the night with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Ja Morant finished with 18 points and 5 assists, on 5-of-11 shooting.
Jae Crowder was benched for the night with a sore left ankle, so Kyle Anderson took on the role of starting small forward in his stead. Scoring just two points, Anderson’s personal offensive contribution was minimal, but he still made his presence felt with five rebounds and five assists. One such assist led to this amazing dunk from Brandon Clarke.
The Grizzlies second unit tallied 59 points on the night while shooting 23-35 from the floor and 6-of-12 from three. The 59 points put up by the bench marks a new season-high.
Solomon Hill continued to provide help off the bench, finishing the night with 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc.
De’Anthony Melton closed out with 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists, and backup guard Tyus Jones ended the night with 9 points and a game-high 9 assists.
Saturday marked the first time in NBA history that two Japanese-born players (Memphis’ Yuta Watanabe and Washington’s Rui Hachimura) faced off in an NBA regular-season game. Watanabe and Hachimura are the second and third Japanese natives, respectively, to play in the NBA.