The Memphis Grizzlies were five games into the season and experiencing a major identity crisis until Saturday night at the FedExForum when the team Grizz fans know and appreciate showed up.
The Grizzlies got back to defense and pounding the ball inside the paint, beating the Golden State Warriors 108-90. The contest marked the Grizzlies' 10th win in a row against the Warriors.
The hard-working, grind-it-out team found its way back. The Grizzlies dominated play in the paint 54-18, outrebounding Golden State 44-33.
Memphis head coach Dave Joerger said the Grizzlies did a nice job, acknowledging they still have a lot of work to do to firmly align this year's team with the grit-and-grind identity that marked last year's historic run to the Western Conference finals. Last week's disappointing loss to New Orleans highlighted the need to play with more of a sense of urgency.
Saturday's performance against Golden State, which came into the game second in the league in field goals made, was not a cure all, but it was a start.
"I don't think it's as broken as people think it was last week, and I'm not going to sit here and tell you all is well in the world of Grizzlies basketball," Joerger said. "I feel like we're going in the right direction. We are headed that way.
"I think we took a step forward to being us. That's our identity right there, points in the paint, going inside, attacking smart. We took care of the ball."
Six Grizz players finished in double figures led by Zach Randolph, who had 23 points and 11 rebounds. Randolph made his big return after leaving last week's game against the Pelicans to witness the birth of his son, Zachary Randolph Jr.
"It's been a great week, especially tonight after we got this win," Randolph said. "We've just got to come out and play like this every game."
Starting point guard Mike Conley added 20 points, with Marc Gasol chipping in 18 from the center position.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry returned after taking a game off to nurse a bruised left ankle. He led the team with 22 points. Andre Iguodala finished with 19 points.
"Zbo (Zach Randolph) got it going a little bit in the second half, and then Mike Miller hit some threes, so they kind of had it spread out all over the place and we just couldn't contain them," Iguodala said.
There was no slow start to this game. The Grizzlies came out feeding the ball to Randolph inside. He led all scorers by the end of the first quarter with 12 points and five rebounds.
The Grizzlies went into the half with a four-point lead (54-50) after the Warriors sliced a 14-point deficit. The Grizzlies responded in the third quarter by scoring 36-points to build a 90-77 lead.
"We didn't execute," said Warriors head coach Mark Jackson. "They were the more physical team, and it's just a disappointing loss for us."
NOTE: Memphis will play the Indiana Pacers on Monday before returning to face former Grizz star Rudy Gay and the Toronto Raptors at the FedExForum on Wednesday.