At a pivotal moment in the final playoff push, the Grizz had a prime chance to return to .500 against the lowly Milwaukee Bucks. Seemingly determined to make it hard on themselves, they went away from strong interior offense and let the Bucks push them around in the second half, until -- who else -- James Johnson woke everybody up. Memphis is now back to .500 for the first time since December 9th, when they were 10-10.

1st Half

Milwaukee got off to an 8-1 lead against Memphis' lethargic starters, but the bench checked in and (typically as of late) upstaged the first unit with a 19-2 run. The Bucks hung around in the second quarter thanks to 9 offensive rebounds and 16 points from John Henson and Caron Butler, scoring the final seven points to cut a 14-point lead to a 42-35 halftime score.

Marc Gasol played just five minutes before getting the hook and returned for five more in the second quarter, not really asserting himself in the offense (but, as Joerger noted recently, this phase is more about conditioning). Kosta Koufos sparked the front court with 8 first-half points (and a +16 plus/minus), while Zach Randolph was held to just 2-4 shooting. The Grizz were a quiet 45% in the half behind Mike Conley's 3-7 and four assists.

Those fanatical hoops fans in Milwaukee were out in full force for this Wednesday night headliner, by the way.