Frustration has set in with the Memphis Grizzlies and eight games into the season fans are growing increasingly nervous.
The frustration was evident on Wednesday as the Grizzlies welcomed former teammate Rudy Gay back to the FedExForum along with his new team, the Toronto Raptors. The result was another disappointing Grizzlies lost, 103-87.
The Grizzlies (3-5) ended the first quarter down by six points, with Toronto's Demar DeRozan leading all scorers with 13 points. By halftime, Memphis was down by 11 (55-44).
The beginning of the first quarter saw a swift start by Grizzlies. But then the momentum oozed and the Grizzlies found themselves trying to fight back to get in the game
"I'm tired of playing from behind," said Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger. "I'm really tired of it"
Toronto was was 8-of-15 from the arc and forced Memphis to commit 17 turnovers. Memphis surrendered at least 100 points for the fourth time this season.
The Raptors outscored Memphis 25-16 in the fourth quarter and committed just one turnover while forcing the Grizzlies into seven.
"We have got to play harder for longer stretches of time," Joerger said. "We have got to be able to take hits. We have been a team that has been very resilient in the past. You have to be able to take the hit and keep coming. We will get there. We will be alright."
Memphis tied the game at 70 in the third quarter but couldn't maintain the toughness to secure the win. Toronto went on a 26-7 run to take a 19-point lead (99-77).
Grizzlies center Marc Gasol said they are trying to stay positive.
"We always try to fight back," Gasol said. "Got some control back and we tied the game up again and we weren't clever enough or disciplined enough to push the lead to six or eight or get enough pongs to take control of the lead again."
Gasol, posting his first double-double of the season, finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Mike Conley recorded a season-high 29 points leading all scorers. Zach Randolph recorded his fourth double-double and added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Gay recorded a career-high 23 points followed by Kyle Lowry with 21 points and six assists.
"We know they're going to make a run so you just prepare yourself, Lowry said. "That's when execution comes in. I think tonight we did a great job of executing everything we wanted to do. We got the ball into the right situations for our scorers to score the ball and for our playmakers to make plays."
Gay said coming back to Memphis and entering the visitor's locker room for the first time was different and playing in the FedExForum was emotional. He focused on doing his part to secure a win for the team.
"I always want to come back and be competitive," Gay said. "When you play against those guys (Grizzlies) – even with people I played against in high school – it's always competitive.
NOTE: The Grizzlies now embardk on a four-game road trip and will return to the FedExForum to face the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 22.