The Memphis Grizzlies finally got off the schneid on Monday night, outlasting the Minnesota Timberwolves, 95-92, to snap an 11-game losing streak that had consumed the team for weeks and led to shocking regime change for an organization that appears to be in tumult.
It wasn’t the prettiest picture — the two teams combined for only 36 points in the fourth quarter, with neither making more than 40 percent of their shots in a combination of solid defense and poor shot selection. (That goes double for the Wolves, who got the Grizzlies into the penalty with about 8 1/2 minutes remaining, but frequently settled for jump shots down the stretch rather than attacking the rim to try to draw fouls and get to the free-throw line.) It worked, though, with Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans hitting a pair of free throws with 12.7 seconds left and Memphis forcing Wolves star Jimmy Butler into a contested off-balance 3-pointer that came up short at the buzzer, allowing the Grizz to secure their first win since Nov. 7.
Afterward, Grizzlies star Marc Gasol — who scored a team-high 21 points on 6-for-14 shooting with seven rebounds, five assists and a block in 35 minutes — couldn’t contain his excitement at getting back on the sunny side of the bleepin’ street.
(NOTE: There’s a curse word in this video clip, so you shouldn’t click on it if you don’t want to hear that.)
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) December 5, 2017
Asked during his post-game interview what had changed with respect to the Grizzlies’ rebounding over the past couple of games, Gasol said, “I don’t know, but I like it.” And then, he got a little loose:
Guys have taken more ownership of their mistakes and it’s starting to look more like us. Obviously, now we’ve got to put together more games, more wins, and guys need to get used to having a little more confidence with the ball in their hands, and get used to playing together. Overall, we won, so f*** it.
The NBA announced on Wednesday afternoon that Gasol has been fined $15,000 for “using profane language during a live television interview.” This, it seems to me, represents one of the beauty parts of making $22.6 million this season. Why make the money if you can’t enjoy spending it how you want?
It’s not the first time Gasol has worked a bit blue during his postgame presser out of excitement. And hey, if you’d been through what the Grizzlies have over the past few weeks, you might have some trouble restraining yourself, too.
The lesson: the next time the Grizzlies win a game delivering that sort of emotional catharsis, you should probably have a finger on the dump button in the truck, producers. You can never be too careful when dealing with a very relieved Spanish giant.
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