Grizzlies at Bulls (8pm ET Wednesday, ESPN)
The Grizzlies snapped a two-game slide on Monday by defeating the Washington Wizards 112-95, in a game that saw their starting five all score in double digits, with Marc Gasol going 24-12-6 and Mike Conley contributing 18-4-11. And the game wasn’t as close as the score suggests, as the Griz were up 22 after 3 and were never threatened. The Grizzlies are now 14-12, sitting in the 6th seed in the West.
The Unpredict-a-Bulls continue to drive fans nuts, losing three in a row, then winning three in a row, most recently against the hapless Sixers. But even Monday’s win over Philly was harder than it should’ve been, as the Bulls trailed by 5 at the half before clamping down on D and winning 115-96.
“(Halftime) was very vocal, to be honest,” second-year forward Doug McDermott told ESPN. “[Joakim Noah] was very heated and [Pau Gasol] actually talked up, saying we’ve got to step on teams' throats like this, you know, that aren’t winning this year. Other teams see this film of us lollygagging the first half and they’re not scared of us. So we really wanted to change that around in the second half, and I thought we did a much better job.”
Derrick Rose tried to fight through an illness, managing to play 26 minutes, but sat for the last 15:18 of the game, after scoring 6 points on 2-of-3 shooting.
Suns vs. Warriors (10:30pm ET Wednesday, ESPN)
After starting the season 6-4, the Phoenix Suns sank like a stone, losing 8 of 10, including 2 losses to the 6-18 Pelicans. They did enjoy a brief resurgence during which they won 3 of 4, but Monday’s loss to the Mavericks dropped them to a dire 11-15. Star guard tandem of Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight are still killing it, combining for 43 points, 9 rebounds and 12 assists a game, but it ain’t enough, as the Phoenix D is allowing the second-highest field goal percentage in the league.
After needing to go into double-OT Friday to hold off the Celtics, the Warriors finally fell on Saturday to the Milwaukee Bucks, 108-95, for their first loss of the season. How on Earth did the then 9-15 Bucks beat the best basketball team in the world? A quick look at the box score suggests that the loss was a simple matter of the Warriors’ insane luck with the three-point shot inevitably running out, as they made only 6 of 26 from beyond the arc. If they’d hit at the established pace of .432, they make 5 more 3’s for 15 more points and they win 110-108. Mystery solved. Next!