AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Marc Gasol showed up to work Wednesday night as determined as one might ever see him.
The Grizzlies’ 7-footer appeared determined not to miss a shot.
Gasol made nine straight field goals at one point and gave the Grizzlies’ offense a much needed boost throughout their 98-86 win over the Detroit Pistons in The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Gasol tied his career high 38 points on 14 of 17 shooting in making sure the Grizzlies’ losing streak ended at three games.
“You can tell when he’s locked in at shootaround and meetings. You can tell a different demeanor,” Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley said. “Obviously, he was angry — we all were — with the loss (Tuesday) night. You just knew guys would take that personal, and he did.”
Memphis improved the 8-0 on the second night of back-to-backs. After the Grizzlies blew a 17-point lead and lost in overtime against Boston, Gasol made a concerted effort to guide the team out of choppy waters.
“Winning is always good,” Gasol said. “Winning solves and clears up a lot of things. It always does. It settles emotions.”
The Spaniard collected 31 points in his first 29 minutes. Gasol had converted 11 of 13 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, at that time.
Gasol consistently turned into the run-stopper with clutch baskets as the Pistons cut their 18-point lead to four points and made it a single-digit game at different times.
“That’s his level. He’s a great player,” Grizzlies coach David Fizdale said. “He just really wanted this game tonight.”
Gasol lauded the Grizzlies’ discipline on both ends of the court.
Memphis scored 22 points off of 17 Detroit turnovers.
“We were patient, and we did a good job of executing,” Gasol said.
Memphis played with its intended starting lineup this season for the first time since Nov. 6. That’s because forward Chandler Parsons returned after missing 18 straight games due to a left knee bruise.
Parsons started against the Pistons and played with a minutes restriction. He missed four of five field goal attempts in 15 minutes of action.
Memphis led 79-63 after three quarters, and never allowed Detroit to get closer than seven points. A Troy Daniels 3-pointer pushed the Grizzlies’ advantage back to double digits with five minutes left to play in the game.
An Andrew Harrison 3-pointer gave the Grizzlies a 40-22 advantage with 7:51 left in the second quarter. Memphis then went into a four-minute offensive funk and scored just one field goal during that span.
Detroit used a 16-2 run to close the gap to 42-38 before Memphis regrouped and took a 53-44 lead into halftime.
Gasol was again the run-stopper. He was fouled attempting a three-point shot and converted the free throws just before the intermission.
Grizzlies coach David Fizdale sounded confident before the game that his troops would bounce back after he ripped them for lacking leadership Tuesday night during an overtime loss to Boston.
“My team always bounces back when I challenge them,” Fizdale said. “It’s not an attack on anybody’s character. But our leadership stunk the last three games, and that’s just the truth. They know I’m a truth machine. I don’t dodge anything. My agenda is always pure. We’re striving to be a champion.”