All hands were on deck on a cold Monday night at FedExForum. Every Memphis Grizzlies player not injured put in playing time. And all of this fresh off of yet another player having joined the injured list.
With that painful backdrop and home-losing woes to contend with, the Grizzlies persevered, racking up a much-needed 95-84 win against the 6-16 Orlando Magic.
Before the game, the Grizzlies announced that Quincy Pondexter is out indefinitely with a tarsal navicular stress fracture in his right foot. Pondexter sustained the injury on Saturday (Dec. 7) as Memphis fell to the Golden State Warriors 108-82. He went down in the first half and did not return. Pondexter was in the starting lineup that night, replacing Tony Allen, who was out with a right hip contusion.
"It happened on the first play in that game and I said, 'Something's not right,'" Pondexter said. "I tried to run through it. I tried to fight through it, and I tried to be the best I could, and it wouldn't let me. I was going to fight. I would still be out there on the court right now fighting, but it was a lot of pain and we decided to get it checked out. It was the news I was not expecting. I was expecting maybe a week or two."
Allen, missing his third straight game on Monday, was on the Grizzlies bench. Memphis guard Jarryd Bayless started in his place. The team is still without Marc Gasol (knee) and Ed Davis (ankle sprain).
Orlando is just 1-10 on the road this season. The win marked the fifth straight game the Grizzlies have won against the Magic. They outrebounded Orlando by 17 (52-35) and outscored them behind the three-point line (10-of-17).
After the first quarter the Grizzlies were up 23-16. They went on a 14-0 run at the top of the second period to take a 37-16 lead going into the half at 51-30. The Grizzlies' lead was double figures until the end of the fourth quarter during a second-half that saw the Grizzlies nearly squander their good fortune.
"We just didn't' come out with the same intensity and energy in the third quarter, which we talked about at halftime – getting off to a quick start, getting a team that's been on the road," said Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger.
Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies with 19 points and 12 rebounds, tallying his 11th double-double of the season.
"We had to get one," Randolph said of the win. "We have a tough schedule coming up. We are trying to get some momentum going into Wednesday's game and be ready."
Jon Leuer scored 16 points and 12 rebounds, his first career double-double. Rookie Jamaal Franklin contributed off the bench, with eight points playing about 15 minutes
"I always preached every day, that I make sure I stay ready when the opportunity comes, make the best of it," Franklin said.
All Magic players scored in double figures. Andrew Nicholson finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Jameer Nelson also pitched in 19 points and Arron Afflalo scored 17.
"I'll never get used to losing," Afflalo said. "We just have to move on to the next game."
The Grizzlies continue their homestand on Wednesday (Dec. 11) against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.