The Memphis Grizzlies have a longstanding and deserved reputation as one of the toughest teams in the NBA. They're currently proving it once again as they attempt to work their way into the Western Conference playoffs. Entering Wednesday night's game at the New Orleans Pelicans, the Grizzlies had won 10 of their last 13 to push their record to 37-26, or one game ahead of the Phoenix Suns for the West's final postseason spot.
In the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies showed why the West's top seeds won't want to draw them in the first round. Down 74-67 after three quarters, Memphis limited New Orleans to just 14 points to find themselves tied at 88-88 and holding the ball with 14.3 seconds on the clock. That's when point guard Mike Conley, the team's late-game playmaker, took control to give his team the 90-88 win.
Poor defense aside, this is the kind of late-game ability that could turn the Grizzlies into spoilers come playoff time. If they are able to control tempo and turn games into their favored grit-and-grind style, Memphis could find themselves in position to win four in a series against a favored opponent. To do so, they'll need scoring in big moments, not just a penchant for frustrating opponents.
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