Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/6/12
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - It took some time for the Memphis Grizzlies to awaken from offseason hibernation. But once Marc Gasol and Quincy Pondexter got the Griz roaring, they couldn't be stopped. Gasol had his third straight 20-point performance of the young season with 22 points, and Pondexter came off the bench to add 14 in a 103-94 victory over the Utah Jazz at FedExForum on Monday in the Grizzlies' home opener. With NBA commissioner David Stern and new Grizzlies majority owner Robert Pera in the house, Memphis (2-1) overcame chilly early shooting and a lethargic effort by the Griz starters to win just their second home opener since the team moved to Memphis in 2001-02. "We just kept moving the ball and were able to start running," Gasol said. "We settled early for too many quick shots." Gordon Hayward led Utah with 19 points, and Al Jefferson had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Pondexter, who kept the Grizzlies from completely disappearing in the first half after Memphis started the game 2-of-19 in the field, scored five straight points in a 47-second stretch at about the five-minute mark of the third quarter. That gave the Grizzlies the lead for good. Once the Griz got to the final six minutes of the fourth quarter, Memphis kicked it fully in gear. The catalyst was Gasol, who flirted with a triple-double, also adding eight rebounds and eight assists. His superb passing, especially between him and fellow post player Zach Randolph, was too much for the Jazz to handle down the stretch. Despite not shooting well early, Randolph finished with his third straight double-double in as many games with 16 points and 18 rebounds. As cold as the Grizzlies started in their home opener -- they trailed by 12 points after the first seven minutes -- they were fortunate to trail just 50-47 at the half. The Jazz scored early and often, with Hayward producing 11 of his 13 first-half points in the opening quarter against a Grizzlies starting unit that looked dead on arrival. Memphis' starting front line of Rudy Gay, Randolph and Gasol was a combined 1-of-12 from the field in the first quarter. Memphis was able to climb back in the game because of a bench that apparently was enthused about opening night. The Grizzlies got plenty of energy from reserves Pondexter and Marreese Speights, who combined for 11 points and four rebounds in their first rotation of the night. Just the sheer hustle of that duo, crashing boards and running lanes, set the stage for the final three minutes of the half, in which the Grizzlies took their first lead at 47-45 with 43.9 seconds left on Gay's 25-foot 3-pointer. NOTES: Stern was on hand for the Memphis home opener, basically because he wanted to introduce new Grizzlies majority owner Robert Pera, founder and CEO of Ubiquiti Networks, a global communications company based in California's Silicon Valley. He bought the team for $377 million from Chicago businessman Michael Heisley, who was also at Monday's opener. Stern thanked Heisley and then introduced the 34-year-old Pera, who earlier in the day shot baskets in Griz practice gear on the FedExForum floor after an introductory press conference. Pera, painfully shy, kept his opening night remarks to 21 words, leaving Stern to laugh and say, "That's it?" Pera has a local group of minority owners that includes Memphians from all walks of life such as singer Justin Timberlake, former NBA stars Penny Hardaway and Elliot Perry, former Congressman Harold Ford Jr., Liberty Bowl executive director Steve Ehrhart and Ashley Manning, wife of NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kings blowing up roster, putting Darren Collison, Ben McLemore on block

Russell Westbrook's beef with Kevin Durant might not be over after all

Giants could use franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul

Two-time Le Mans winner felt he had to hide homosexuality

Emmanuel Sanders wife: WR lied to Broncos, skipped practice to party

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Celtics focused on Jimmy Butler amid Cousins trade news

DeMarcus Cousins traded to Pelicans for players, picks

West teammates hilariously celebrate Durant and Westbrook oop

Report: Romo willing to rework contract to facilitate trade

Lonzo Ball's father says son is better than Curry right now

Report: Rams could have interest in Cousins if Goff flops

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher with 200 or more wins since 1961

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker