West Notes: Grizzlies, Lamar Stevens, Rockets, Thunder


Forward Lamar Stevens didn’t mince words when discussing the Grizzlies’ loss to the Clippers on Friday.Lamar Stevens, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA

“I think we should have won, honestly,” Stevens told reporters. “I don’t really like the moral victory stuff. I think we should have won. I think we kind of gave that one away down the stretch.”

The game featured 17 lead changes, with the final one not coming until Clippers star Kawhi Leonard threw down a dunk with 1:35 to go. Stevens finished with eight points, eight rebounds and a block.

  • The Grizzlies had won two straight before Friday. Despite the clear rebuilding season, they’ve been making great effort. “In the great words of Confucius, ‘You have to see beauty in everything,’” guard Derrick Rose said. “That’s what we are doing right now.”
  • In case you missed it, the Grizzlies made a pair of roster moves on Saturday, signing guard Jordan Goodwin to a two-way contract. We have the full post here.


Guard Fred VanVleet scored 23 points and the Rockets were able to withstand a late rally from the Suns for a statement win on Friday.

“There’s a lot of different ways to win in the NBA and we’re finding that out and learning that as a group, and tonight was a good night for us,” VanVleet told reporters.

The Rockets held on despite not executing exactly as they wished down the stretch. 

“I think the execution was decent,” coach Ime Udoka said. “We like to get it to specific guys for the foul shots and we couldn’t quite get it to Fred sometimes. But other guys stepped up and made them.”

  • Houston (25-41) is just 4.5 games back of a play-in spot entering Saturday night. But the Rockets are just 5-22 on the road, the second-worst mark in the league, next to the lowly Pistons.


The Thunder posted their highest point total of the season in Friday’s 147-106 laugher over the Wizards. Guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way with 30 points, and forward Chet Holmgren tallied 25 with 10 rebounds.

“We knew the game plan, we executed it well and we really trusted each other,” Holmgren said. “That’s how we got those open looks, and credit to everybody who got ‘em and knocked ’em down.”

Coach Mark Daigneault suggested Oklahoma City’s success is based largely on the players’ willingness to share the wealth. 

“I think we’ve gotten good (looks) the last couple of nights,” Daigneault said. “And that’s what we can control. We just want to be a team that generates rhythm shots and open shots. I thought we did that tonight, we did that last night, we’ve done that for much of the year. We’ve gotten more open 3’s than most teams in the league, and if we do that we trust that we’re going to make enough of them … .”

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