In a battle of two of the best defensive teams in the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies were able to go on the road and knock off the blazing hot Chicago Bulls by a final margin of 85-77 on Saturday night.
Things didn’t exactly go swimmingly for the visiting Grizzlies in the first half, however, as they were held to just 35 points in the opening 24 minutes, and they looked to be on their way to being the next victim of Chicago’s wrath. From there, though, Memphis solved the riddle of Tom Thibodeau’s defense with 50 points after the break, and on the defensive end, Marc Gasol and company were also able to fire things up.
In total, the Grizzlies were able to stifle the Bulls offense to the tune of 41% from the floor and an ugly 2 for 13 from 3-point land (15%). Aside from the frontcourt duo of Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson (who combined for 33 points on just 25 shots), Chicago couldn’t get much going, and defensively, they couldn’t swallow up the sometimes inconsistent Memphis offense.
Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph each posted double-doubles for the Grizzlies, with Gasol finishing at 18 points and 10 rebounds and Randolph posting 10 points and 11 rebounds. Memphis was also helped by a huge bench performance from Mike Miller, who emerged from the pine to knock down 4 threes (in 5 attempts) and score 14 points in just 20 minutes of game time.
With the win, the Grizzlies climb within a half-game of the Dallas Mavericks (who are currently in progress at time of this post), and with each win, it is becoming more and more likely that Memphis can overcome their early struggles to produce a playoff spot.