After two straight losses, the Grizzlies are bouncing back. They can thank their best player, Ja Morant, author of his best career mark (in the regular season) after a great duel with his All-Star counterpart, DeMar DeRozan. The latter, well supported by Zach LaVine, suffered more on shots. Which partly explained why Chicago lagged for a long time before losing for the first time in twenty days.
With a big start to the game from Steven Adams in attack, the visitors quickly took a ten-point lead in the first quarter, which ended with three possessions in their favor (22-31). This gap of six to twelve points was maintained until the break (52-59).
Ja Morant, who did the most damage in the third quarter, gave a boost afterwards. After a good passage from De’Anthony Melton, the Grizzlies offered their biggest advantage of the match (70-87) at the end of the quarter. Not very successful so far, DeMar DeRozan has regained some confidence with passages on the free throw line.
The back will especially find the address in the last act to carry the Bulls in the heart of a 14-0 in their favor on a sequence of five minutes of play (99-101). Chicago came within three short runs, including 25 seconds from time after two free throws from Zach LaVine. But on a final possession, Kyle Anderson had the decisive defensive move past DeMar DeRozan to secure the win.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The Grizzlies’ domestic dominance. The clumsiness of DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic (15/46…) is largely due to the heavy protection of the Grizzlies circle. Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson had six of the team’s 10 blocks. This internal domination, which allowed Memphis to register 12 more points in the opposing racket, also resulted in nearly twenty additional rebounds captured by the visitors. Of course, we remember the 19 offensive takes.
– The Bulls drop first place. Chicago had held that seat since mid-February, sometimes sharing it with the Heat, with the same record. As the Floridians won last night against Spurs, they are now the only ones in charge in the East. Despite their defeat, the Bulls keep the equivalent of two victories ahead of the 76ers, current third.
✅ Ja Morant. An MVP performance for the leader who has continued to outpace his direct opponents. It was already his fifth game at 40 or more points.
✅ Stevens Adams. Record in the season exploded in the rebound for the rock of Memphis who knocked out Nikola Vucevic in the interior battle. The pivot finished with the best positive impact on the score.
✅⛔ DeMar DeRozan. Frustrating evening for the leader of the Bulls who ended the first quarter with a 0/6 on shots. He had great difficulty in concluding in his usual peripheral game. Symbol of his frustration, thinking he had been the victim of a fault by Kyle Anderson on the last possession, he raised his voice in front of the referees and collected a second technical fault, synonymous with expulsion. He thus joined the locker room very annoyed.
⛔ Desmond Bane. Dirty evening for the Grizzlies shooting guard who has not stopped sending and missing the target, 3-pointers, halfway or near the circle. However, we remember his big award-winning shot 1’30 from the end which allowed his team to breathe. His only 3-point basket of the game! He was also ejected for six fouls.
DEMAR DEROZAN JOINS MJ
Despite his skill problems, the back has chained a 10th game in a row with 30 points minimum. It’s the best streak of its kind for a Bulls player since Michael Jordan in 1991. This game, however, ended his impressive eight-game streak of at least 35 points with 50% success.
Bulls (39-22) : trip to Miami, Monday.
Grizzlies (42-20) : reception of the Spurs, Monday.