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Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

GG Jackson scores 18 points in Memphis Grizzlies loss to OKC Thunder

By meerna Jul11,2024
GG Jackson scores 18 points in Memphis Grizzlies loss to OKC Thunder

A sluggish first half suddenly turned into a greater sense of urgency for the Memphis Grizzlies, who began making more shots and creating more turnovers in Wednesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Memphis pulled to within two points and had the ball with 21.7 seconds left at the Delta Center. The Grizzlies went for a 3-pointer. GG Jackson ran to the top of the circle and got a good look at the pass, but it sailed out of bounds.

Oklahoma City won the free throw and defeated the Grizzlies 80-77.

Four Grizzlies starters finished the season with double-digit scoring. Center Trey Jemison finished with a team-high 20 points. Jackson added 18 points, and the Grizzlies got 17 points each from Timmy Allen and Scotty Pippen Jr.

There were 21 lead changes and 11 draws in the match.

Here are four lessons you can learn from this game.

Grizzlies again without Zach Edey

Grizzlies rookie center and first-round pick Zach Edey was sidelined for the second straight game with a sore ankle. Third-year forward Jake LaRavia also missed the game, as did rookies Jaylen Wells and Cam Spencer. Without Wells, LaRavia and Spencer, Memphis missed a lot of its shooting, and it showed. Jackson was the only Memphis player to make a 3-pointer in the first half. Memphis made 5 of 26 3-pointers in the game.

Edey’s absence could affect Pippen’s point guard as much as anyone else’s. Pippen was able to use Edey’s screens to create easy opportunities for himself and others on Monday. Without Edey, Pippen struggled more on offense. Pippen played better in the second half after scoring four points in the first half, but there was a noticeable difference without the 7-foot-4 center.

GG Jackson’s response

Jackson needed an answer after struggling with his offensive efficiency on Monday. The 6-9 Grizzlies did not play Tuesday and looked much better on Wednesday. After missing all 10 of his 3-point attempts on Monday, Jackson was Memphis’ only source of 3-point offense for most of Wednesday. He looked more composed offensively and made three 3-pointers. Jackson still didn’t show much of his game, and that should be one of his main goals in Las Vegas. Jackson finished with two assists, which came in the fourth quarter.

PERSPECTIVES TO THE WEST: Where do the Memphis Grizzlies stand in the Western Conference after NBA free agency week?

Don’t forget about the second measure

Much of the attention has been focused on Edey, and rightfully so, but Jemison showed why Memphis still has him on a two-way contract. His offensive game isn’t flashy, but Jemison has repeatedly used a quick floater to finish around the rim. He’s aggressive on the boards and plays with a lot of energy. At first glance, Memphis appears to have little depth at center heading into this season, but if Jemison can be the spark that steps up when injuries or foul trouble strikes, he could be a solid third or fourth option at center.

What’s next

The Grizzlies travel to Las Vegas for the first of at least five games. Memphis will host the Sacramento Kings on Friday (5 p.m., NBA TV). The games in Salt Lake City will not be based on the Grizzlies’ record in Las Vegas as they seek to become summer league champions.

Damichael Cole is a Memphis Grizzlies columnist for The Commercial Appeal. Contact Damichael at [email protected]. Follow Damichael on X, formerly Twitter, @DamichaelC.

By meerna

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