The Memphis Grizzlies won the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, by defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves int he finals. The final result was 95-92 for the teams from Tennessee, and their Brandon Clarke received the Summer League MVP award.
Right from the start, the Grizzlies have imposed their tempo of play, and haven’t allowed for Minnesota to feel comfortable. Still, the Wolves had their chance to make a comeback in the final quarter, but Memphis prevented that.
A strong start was something that stunned the T-Wolves. With 3:46 until the end of the opening period, they were up 23-8 and ended that part of the game with a 31-19 edge. The same thing continued throughout the second quarter, and the Grizzlies went on a break leading 56-40.
The things on the court began to change a little bit in the third period, and as the end of it approached, so did the Timberwolves. Kelan Martin pushed his team forward with three downtown hits, and slowly, Minnesota came back.
In the early part of the fourth, we saw a really competitive, basket-for-basket game, but the Timberwolves just couldn’t get the lead. They came down to one point away from the Grizzlies on a couple of occasions but failed to make that additional push.
At one moment, Memphis made a 9-0 run which took him to a 10-point game, but Minnesota replied with the same measure and got a chance to have a shot to tie the game. Eventually, they didn’t use it, and the NBA Summer League title went to Tennessee.
“We tried to find a way to come back, and we didn’t, we came up short,” said Pablo Prigioni said Minnesota’s coach at this tournament. “Credit to them, they were better. They showed all tournament long, they fought to the end, so nothing we can ask more.”
Martin had a game-high, 19 points for the losing side, Jordan Murphy 14 and 8 boards and Mitchell Creek 13. This was the first loss of the Timberwolves here.
On the other side, Grayson Allen scored 17 buckets, 10 of them in the second half. He also interrupted Wolves’ last attack and prevented them from having a chance to tie the result. Bruno Caboclo and Dusty Hannahs had 15.
The man of the match was Brandon Clarke. Former Gonzaga forward had a strong double-double with 15 points and 16 boards along with 4 dimes and 3 blocks. He earned the Summer League MVP award, as he genuinely had the best performances in Nevada.
Brandon. Clarke. 2019. Summer League MVP
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) July 15, 2019
Clarke, the 21st pick coming out Gonzaga, played 6 matches and averaged 14.7 buckets along with 9.8 rebounds shooting 55% from the field.
After the game, he praised his coach Taylor Jenkins who made it possible for him to showcase all the potential.
“It was just really fun playing for him. He was just a really great coach. Every day he was up to play hard and up to get us better. It was awesome playing for him.”
Clarke stated that under Jenkins Memphis looks a lot like Gonzaga.
“I feel like I’ll just fit in perfectly because his system and his culture is similar to what it was like at college at Gonzaga,”
Jenkins was named as Memphis new coach on June 11. The Summer League was his debut as the head coach of one NBA team. He worked under Mike Budenholzer for six years, one in Milwaukee and five in Atlanta. He was also coaching Austin Toros, the Spurs affiliate team in the G League.
“It was a lot of fun, this is why I do what I do. I love to compete, love to teach and have a great group of guys on the court and our staff off the court,” he said after taking the trophy.
The Las Vegas Summer League is now over, but there is more from the NBA to come.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.