Morning Shootaround: Grit n’ grind

Grizzlies smash Splash Bros.
Grizzlies 108, Warriors 90

Friday night, the Warriors played without Stephen Curry and ended up in a slog fest with the Spurs that would have been more reminiscent of the mid-90s or early-2000s. It was decidedly not Golden State basketball.

Danny Johnston/AP/The Modesto BeeSo things would be all right with Curry back in the lineup Saturday night against the "Grit and Grind" Grizzlies who have struggled to score. Memphis still is not known for its scoring and more for its defense. A shootout is not something Memphis would like on the menu.

Unless the Grizzlies are the ones doing the shooting.

That is what happened Saturday as Memphis exploded for 108 points with just 18 points in the fourth quarter. This game seemed well decided before the final 12 minutes.

Zach Randolph scored 23 points for the Grizzlies and Mike Conley chipped in 20 points as all Grizzlies starters scored in double figures. Curry returned from his ankle bruise to score 22 points on 7-for-18 shooting. Andre Iguodala chipped in 19 points.

Memphis shot better than 50 percent while holding Golden State to 42 percent shooting. The Grizzlies seemed to slowly pull away from the Warriors too, keeping pace with the Warriors in the first quarter and simply outscoring them.

This is not your typical Memphis performance. Not offensively at least. However, the Grizzlies needed a performance like this as they weather their way through the beginning of the season. They sit at 3-3 so far on the young season. Soon, they should be back near the top of the Western Conference.

Green's miracle heave douses Heat
Celtics 111, Heat 110

The Celtics won their third consecutive game on a miracle 3-point shot from Jeff Green at the buzzer at American Airlines Arena on Saturday. Dwyane Wade missed two free throws that would have iced the game away and Boston took possession with 0.9 seconds left. Gerald Wallace inbounded to Jeff Green in the far corner who came free and hoisted the shot over two Heat defenders for the game-winner, shocking the Miami crowd.

Pacers stay unbeaten
Pacers 96, Nets 91

The race to be 82-0 is still alive. It is still very unlikely, but no other team can say they have yet to lose yet. Not many teams in the East can actually say they are .500 or better right now. Indiana is proving to be the class of the East early on. Paul George scored 24 points and Brooklyn-native Lance Stephenson had 15 points in this win for the Pacers.

Clippers snap skid
Clippers 107, Rockets 94

The last time the Clippers won, they ran all the way around the Rockets. A couple of defeats in Florida had them feeling a little shaky heading into the final leg of their road trip. Maybe Los Angeles just matches up well with Houston. Houston lost its own pair of games to teams from Los Angeles. The Clippers got 22 points from Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick as a 34-point fourth quarter propelled the Clippers to this much-needed victory.

D'Antoni looking for hustle
Timberwolves vs. Lakers, 9:30 p.m.

The Lakers are not a complete disaster. That is unless you expected them to compete for a championship. Then no one can help you. But Los Angeles had a nice win over Houston followed by a crushing loss to New Orleans. Those kind of turnaround do not sit well with coaches typically. It did not sit well with Mike D'Antoni, that is for sure. D'Antoni said he was upset with his team's hustle and effort in that loss and is looking for answers as the Lakers return home to face the Wolves on Sunday.

J.R. Smith still has Woodson's support
Spurs vs. Knicks, 12 p.m.

J.R. Smith will make his season debut after serving a five-game suspension for a violation of the NBA's anti-drug policy. Smith will begin trying to show that he is worth the money that the Knicks threw at him. They certainly hope he will be much more mature than he has shown in recent years. He has one cheerleader, however. That is his coach, Mike Woodson. Woodson told the New York media he still supports Smith and is considering starting the guard during the Knicks matinee with the Spurs.

Jazz still searching for first win
Raptors 115, Jazz 91

The Utah Jazz remain the league's only winless team, taking another crushing defeat to the Raptors on Saturday. It was not Gordon Hayward's fault. Hayward continues to put in some great scoring performances with 24 points and seven rebounds. However, Toronto led 62-36 at the half and that was about all she wrote. Tyler Hansbrough led the Raptors with 23 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench.

Wizards bigs quickly growing chemistry
Wizards vs. Thunder, 7 p.m.

Washington surprised everyone when the team made a late-training camp trade to acquire Marcin Gortat. It made a ton of sense if the Wizards were going to go all out just to make the playoffs. But how would this work? So far, it seems, so good. Nene and Marcin Gortat appear to be developing some very nice chemistry on the court, particularly on the defensive end where Gortat has long excelled. That is a good sign for Washington.

Hawks rush past Magic
Hawks 104, Magic 94

The Hawks lost a second-half 17-point lead and then lost the lead in the fourth quarter. But a 10-0 run following that point and some untimely turnovers from the Magic enabled the Hawks to escape with a home win. Jeff Teague had 19 points and 13 assists to lead the Hawks. Paul Millsap added 18 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta.

Grant Hill says D-Rose will be back

Many former players, including Dominique Wilkins, have come out and said they believe Derrick Rose will one day return to an elite level. Wilkins is particularly interesting because he returned from a torn ACL when it was nearly impossible to do so. Add Grant Hill to Rose's fans. Hill told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that he believes Rose can get back to an elite level despite the torn ACL that knocked him out for a year. Hill dealt with several ankle and leg injuries throughout his career.

Irving finally sinks Sixers
Cavaliers 127, 76ers 125, 2OT

It took Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers two overtimes and several missed game-winning jumpers, but Irving finally had his moment to live up to his new "Mr. Big Shot" reputation. Irving hit a layup with 0.6 seconds left to give the Cavaliers a big win over the Sixers. Irving finish with 39 points and 12 assists. Meanwhile, Michael Carter-Williams joined some elite company for his seven-game start in adding 21 points, seven rebounds and 13 assists. Evan Turner had 31 points.

Aldridge big for Blazers
Trail Blazers 96, Kings 85

On the second night of a home-and-home, the Blazers swept the series. DeMarcus Cousins was big again, following his 35-point performance with 33 points and 12 rebounds. The same result occurred however in Sacramento as it did in Portland. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 22 points and 14 rebounds. Wesley Matthews chipped in with 21 for Portland. Damian Lillard shot just 1 for 15 in what might have been his worst professional performance.

Ellis scores 18 in Milwaukee return
Mavericks 91, Bucks 83

Monta Ellis heard some negative response from Milwaukee fans for his up and down year and a half at Milwaukee. He had the last laugh, even as the Mavericks struggled offensively for a change. Ellis scored 18 points on 6-for-14 shooting as the Mavericks held on for an eight-point win.O.J. Mayo had 28 points for the Bucks in defeat, perhaps providing hope that there are still scoring days ahead for the Bucks.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily