Grizzlies defeat Lakers in L.A.
The Grizzlies took another step in trying to clinch a playoff spot Sunday with a 102-90 road win over the Lakers. Mike Conley led Memphis with 24 points as the Grizzlies moved one game ahead of the Phoenix Suns for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Grizzlies Head Coach Dave Joerger:
(On third quarter) “We were much more physical. We got on bodies more, we kept the ball out of the paint. Between the third and fourth quarter we had fourteen stops in a row, which is more us. Obviously they can score and they don’t need a lot of room to score. The stretches in the first half, we got nine stops in a row in the second quarter. You look down at half time and they are still shooting 54%. At the end of the day we got the win that we needed to get and that’s the most important thing moving on to Phoenix.”
(On contributing players) “Marc [Gasol] came alive in the second half. Mike Miller was really steady for us all night at both ends of the floor. Tayshaun [Prince] was critical in the third quarter. If they are going to stretch out at one end we try to go inside the other, so a couple big defensive plays. Very professional and good leadership by those guys.”
(On game tomorrow night against Phoenix) “Well it’s a heck of a game. We have had big games; we have kind of got the better of them this year. They have all been very competitive; they are a tough team for us to play against. They stretch it out, shoot the three, and run up and down on transition defense. Our break and roll defensive will be put to the test so we need to execute, get to the rim, get in the paint on offense and that helps us set our defense. Gerald Green has had a great year. The Mores [Markieff and Marcus] twins are difficult to guard, so it’s been fun to watch. This is fun as far as the competition of the NBA and guys going out there and playing with everything they have.”
(On having back-to-back games) “It’s very difficult. That’s the NBA. At this time of year whatever you have left is what you are given.”
Grizzlies Center Marc Gasol
(On what changed from the first half to the second half) “Defense. We got stops. I don’t know how many stops in a row we had at the end of third, but we came out and guarded. Eventually, we kept it on one side of the floor, weak-side pulled in, we were pressuring the ball, we got on our defensive lines, and we rebounded. That most of the time takes care of a lot of things.”
(On if the defense created the offense) “Yes. That’s how we always play. We let our defense [start] our offense, not the other way around. When the offense [starts] our defense, we’re normally in trouble.”
(On if they were satisfied at halftime) “Not at all. We didn’t have the game where we wanted to have it, especially against a team like the Lakers where they’re just going to play the same way up 10 or down 10, up 15 or down 15, so if you have a game close in the last 5 minutes, they can go on a run like they did. If you were only up eight, they would be ahead with the run they had.”
Grizzlies Forward Tayshaun Prince
(On halftime adjustments) “I was just watching film and seeing how we played defense during the first half. Wherever they [Lakers] wanted in the first half, they would go. In the second half, we did more getting to them, and getting the ball in the paint. Obviously, you know what kind of team we are when we do that.”
(On being dialed in right now) “We’re dialed in, but we’re not playing a 48-minute game like we want or we should. Those who watch us all the time know how we are as far as putting a great stretch together when we need to. But for the most part, we go up and down throughout the game. Obviously, you can get in a shooting match with this team [Lakers], and they can stick around. But, we have a tough one [game] tomorrow that means a lot to both of us, and this was a good sign on how we finished out the game, and I hope we can carry it over to tomorrow.”