The Grizzlies Beat The Rockets Despite 57 From James Harden With A Wild Free Throw Finish

03.20.19 3 months ago


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In one of the wildest finishes of the season, the Grizzlies saved themselves from the brink of disaster thanks to a crazy foul and some clutch free throw shooting from Jonas Valanciunas — who had a career-high 33 in the 126-125 overtime win.

James Harden finished with 57 points, but the Rockets found themselves down five points with little time left in the extra period. The lead seemed insurmountable, but Harden turned clutch in a hurry. First, he hit a 3-pointer to bring the game within two, and then he stole the ball and laid it in to tie it all together.

With the final possession in their hands, the Grizzlies called timeout. After the break, they proceeded to drain some clock so they could get the final shot of the game. Well, they got it. It just probably wasn’t the way anybody was expecting it.

A Mike Conley airball led to free throws for Jonas Valanciunas and then the win because the foul was called with such little time left there was absolutely no chance the Rockets could tie the game. What an absurd sequence of events that led to this moment. It was like the Grizzlies were trying to just give the game away to the Rockets, but at the very end, they tail spun themselves into a win.

It was nearly an all-time meltdown in the closing seconds for Memphis, but instead goes up as a stunning win over a Rockets team that came in 9-1 in their last 10. It’s not a great loss for Houston, especially given Harden’s effort, but kudos to the Grizzlies for managing to hang on for the win, no matter how improbable that final sequence was.

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