The Raptors deployed a zone defense in the third quarter to shift the momentum after a dismal first half. They outscored the Grizzlies 34-26 in the third for a come-from-behind 122-114 win.
After the game, Nick Nurse commented on the Raptors use of the zone:
I was getting tired of not guarding them so I thought I’d try a little zone, and it got them a little [out of rhythm], that’s what you use it for, the nights where you try to get them out of rhythm a little bit. Fortunately, it worked. We kind of put it on and put it off a little bit, and it kind of got us to a good stretch in the third.
Kawhi Leonard also drew some praise from Nurse on his passing tonight. Leonard had five assists, which was a high for him as a Raptor:
Anytime he dribbles it more than once there’s at least two if not three guys coming to take a swat at it. He’s got to see some of that and you can’t really practice it, right? You can only see it in games, and he’s going to get a lot of that attention, and he’s got to start finding people and he did there for a stretch tonight. Fortunately, they made [the shots].
Here’s the full interview: