Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/2/13
The Grizzlies located their shooting touch, made a concerted effort to integrate their power forward and grinded defensively to give themselves more time for a comeback. Dave Joerger’s first regular-season win as an NBA head coach wasn’t exactly as seamless as it sounds. But the Grizzlies’ 111-108 overtime win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night in FedExForum was certainly satisfying for Joerger because he could talk about a complete effort instead of what was missing. As well as he could. “My voice sounds awful, doesn’t it?” Joerger said, smiling while he spoke with a raspy voice during his postgame press conference. The depth of Memphis’ roster and offensive versatility was on full display in its home opener before an announced sellout crowd of 18,119. The Griz went to Zach Randolph in the post early and often, built leads by converting fast-breaks and then clamped down on the Pistons with an oppressive defense when it mattered most. “Down the stretch our will, our energy and our defense took over,” Joerger said. After erasing a seven-point, fourth-quarter deficit, the Griz opened the extra session on an 11-2 run. By then, several Griz had taken turns dominating stretches of the game. Tayshaun Prince hadn’t played a second in the fourth quarter. But he re-entered the game in overtime and promptly buried a 3-pointer that gave Memphis a 102-97 lead with 2:20 left to play. The Grizzlies’ largest lead was nine in the extra period. “We’ve got to do it collectively,” reserve swingman Quincy Pondexter said. “It’s about team. And any team that plays against us will see that we’re going to fight until the end.” Mike Conley finished with a team-high 22 points, and Tony Allen and Randolph each added 16. Randolph also grabbed 10 rebounds and had two steals. The Griz kept forcing the Pistons into turnovers. More importantly, Memphis finally began taking care of the basketball. Memphis finished with 20 turnovers but didn’t have any in the final nine minutes. “So we got a shot every time and we felt like we put stress on the paint,” Joerger said. The game was tied at 95 at the end of regulation. Marc Gasol made sure of that by scoring the last five points of the fourth quarter. Memphis trailed 95-90 with 52.3 seconds left in the fourth when Gasol converted a three-point play. After Detroit’s Greg Monroe was called for offensive goaltending, Gasol responded by tapping in his own miss from point-blank range to knot the score with 8.2 seconds remaining.
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