Memphis Grizzlies lose 129-103 to Miami Heat


The Memphis Grizzlies were in the Halloween spirit Saturday but their fans didn’t appreciate their giving mood. Whatever the Miami Heat wanted, they got treats with uncontested shots.

The crowd only got tricks, including the score not showing on the jumbotron for most of the second quarter. Things got worse when Heat center Dewayne Dedmon, who took just five 3-pointers last season, made a open 3-pointer in the third quarter.

Instead of a warm return to FedExForum, it became a nightmare on Beale Street. The Grizzlies lost 129-103 in their return from a successful West Coast road trip.

Here’s what we learned as the Grizzlies fell to 3-3:

JA MORANT: Ja Morant’s impressive start for Grizzlies motivated by winning, not just respect

DESMOND BANE: How Grizzlies’ Desmond Bane is turning his game inside-out

Bad defense

Despite playing a back-to-back, the Heat (5-1) started 6-for-7 from the field and didn’t cool down, shooting 52.3% for the game. Through three quarters, Heat reserve guard Tyler Herro had as many points (16) as the Grizzlies’ bench.

The Heat passed the 100-point mark with 2:02 remaining in the third and made a season-high 21 3-pointers (56.8%). It was a defensive collapse that reminded of the Portland Trail Blazers‘ loss Wednesday. 

The Grizzlies hope for some help whenever Dillon Brooks returns. He’s expected to have a follow-up with the team’s medical staff this week per coach Taylor Jenkins. Until he returns, the Grizzlies need to find the defense they brought Thursday against the Golden State Warriors.

Slow start

For the second consecutive game, the Grizzlies’ offense came out flat. This time, they couldn’t blame lack of rest and a back-to-back. 

The Heat leads the NBA in defensive rating and went to work holding the Grizzlies to 20 points in the first quarter. Jaren Jackson Jr’s struggles continued with a 3-for-12 shooting night for Memphis, as he couldn’t take advantage of the Heat playing without All-Star center Bam Adebayo (knee injury).

The Grizzlies never led and Jenkins changed his usual 10-man rotation to 11 by adding Sam Merrill in the second quarter to try and find shooting. It didn’t work as Merrill shot 1-for-6 from the field.

“I think we got to understanding facing veteran teams like that, they’re going to come out hard. We got to respond quick because it can get bad early,” said De’Anthony Melton.

Morant vs. Butler

Jimmy Butler guarded Ja Morant from the opening tip, and Morant struggled as a result. He had 20 points, his fifth game scoring at least that much, but shot just 7-for-18 from the field.

Butler had three steals to go along with 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Unlike Morant, the All-Star forward had no trouble getting his shot (8-for-12 shooting) and ended the first half with a steal on Morant that he converted into a fast-break dunk. 

Morant, the NBA’s leading scorer, added seven assists but couldn’t get his usual easy looks against the Heat.

Melton shakes mini-slump

Melton had 20 points to shake his shooting troubles from the previous two games. Part of that also came scoring eight consecutive points in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand.

He was also the rare Grizzlies player that shined on defense with three steals to go with five assists. But neither Melton nor Desmond Bane (five 3-pointers) could counter the Heat’s firepower.

Herro finished with 22 points and Duncan Robinson added 15 points on five 3-pointers. Kyle Lowry had four 3-pointers to finish a 15-point, eight-assist night. 

Schedule gets harder

The Grizzlies play five of their next six games at home but they’re in for a fight.

Their next five opponents have records above .500. They play the Denver Nuggets twice, then travel to face the Washington Wizards Friday, who have the best record in the Eastern Conference. That’s followed by a homestand against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Charlotte Hornets and Phoenix Suns.

If Brooks returns during that stretch, he’ll provide a lift with his scoring and defense. Yet it won’t solve the Grizzlies’ other issues of team defense and Jackson finding his way through this shooting slump.

Next Up

The Grizzlies face the Denver Nuggets on Monday (7 p.m., Bally Sports Southeast). The teams also meet Wednesday at FedExForum

The Nuggets, led by reigning Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic, won all three meetings last season. Two of the three games were close, including the Grizzlies’ 103-102 loss at FedExForum.

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You can reach Evan Barnes on Twitter (@Evan_B) or by email at [email protected]





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Butler has 27, Heat make 21 3s and route Grizzlies 129-103


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 27 points, Tyler Herro added 22 and the Miami Heat used a strong shooting performance to rout the Memphis Grizzlies 129-103 on Saturday night.

Duncan Robinson and Kyle Lowry scored 15 points each, Lowry added eight assists as the Heat made 21 3-pointers, one short of the franchise record set last May at Milwaukee.

Ja Morant and De’Anthony Melton led the Grizzlies with 20 points each, Desmond Bane finished with 17 points and Kyle Anderson scored 13.

Through three quarters, the Heat kept shooting and kept making. The 56% shooting at that point, included 18 of 28 from 3-point range and a lead that had swelled to 26 points. That was enough for Miami’s fifth win of the first six games.

Miami missed only one of its first eight shots in the game and converted 71% for the first quarter, building an early double-digit lead. Lowry and Markieff Morris connected on a pair of 3-pointers each in the frame.

The Miami lead would stretch to 19 in the second quarter as the Heat continued their accurate shooting. By the time the teams reached halftime, the Heat were still shooting just less than 60% and had connected on 11 of 15 from outside the arc.

The Heat led 67-54 at halftime behind 23 points from Butler, who missed only one of his seven shots and made all 10 of his free throws.

TIP-INS

Heat: C Bam Adebayo missed the game with a left knee bruise. He was listed as questionable until an hour before the game. In his pregame availability, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra expected Adebayo to play. … Dewayne Dedmon started in Adebayo’s place. … Miami connected on its first five 3-pointers of the game.

Grizzlies: G/F Dillon Brooks, who has not played this season recovering from a fractured left hand is “trending real well,” according to coach Taylor Jenkins. “He’s going to have a follow up in the next week, but hopefully when we get that follow up, he’s going to be ramping up even more.” … Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins successfully challenged a play in the second quarter and a foul against C Steven Adams was overturned. … It was Memphis’ first wire-to-wire loss since April 11, 2021 against Indiana.

19 AND COUNTING

Udonis Haslem got his first minutes of the season, officially making this his 19th season in the NBA — all with the Heat.

He’s now the fifth player in league history to appear in at least 19 seasons, all with one team, joining Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan and Utah’s John Stockton.

Haslem had the final basket of the night for the Heat, one that led to teammates getting out of their seats on the bench in celebration.

WHAT TIME IS IT?

The scoreboard at FedExForum went on the fritz in the first quarter leaving only the main scoreboard over the center of the court working with the score and time. The clocks over each basket were working as far as the time and shot clock. The entire system came back on early in the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT:

Heat: Travel to Dallas on Tuesday to face the Mavericks.

Grizzlies: Play the first of two consecutive home games against the Denver Nuggets on Monday.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports





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Quick Recap: Grizzlies Fall in the City of Angels


The Memphis Grizzlies returned to the same arena on Sunday night, following a huge win on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. A back-to-back with the city of angels teams, could Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers slow down the streaking Grizzlies? Or, could Memphis continue their quick start to the season?

First Quarter:

The Memphis Grizzlies jumped on the Lakers right off the tip at Staples Center. Memphis jumped out to a 10-4 lead on Los Angeles early in the first quarter. For Memphis, their frantic pace in some cases led to missed opportunities as the first quarter went on. The Lakers rallied towards the end of the first quarter. Carmelo Anthony came in for Los Angeles off the bench providing a spark, and boosting the Lakers to a 29-24 lead over Memphis at the end of one quarter.

Second Quarter:

The Grizzlies energy as a whole was low throughout most of the second quarter. At one point, you could see Head Coach Taylor Jenkins yelling and clapping at his guys. Memphis was just being out hustled. Sloppy defense was leading to stagnant offensive possessions for the Grizzlies. Fortunately for the Grizzlies, Ja Morant and Desmond Bane shot the ball really well from beyond the arc in the first half. The Grizzlies only trailed 62-56 heading to the half at Staples.

Third Quarter:

The third quarter Memphis came out of the locker rooms with great energy. Specifically, Ja Morant, who is without a doubt the Grizzlies engine. Morant scored 10 points in the third quarter alone, and captivated the opposing crowd at Staples Center — finishing around the rim, with circus shots, and oozing with energy. Following a halftime deficit, the Grizzlies rallied to retake the lead heading to the fourth quarter at 90-87.

Fourth Quarter:

The Grizzlies dug their feet into the mud throughout the fourth quarter. Despite certain things not going the Grizzlies way, they continued to fight. Every Grizzly that took the floor in the second half fought until the final buzzer. The Grizzlies would fall to the Lakers in the final seconds at Staples Center in Los Angeles 121-118.

Final Stats:

  • Ja Morant – 40 points, 10 assists, 13-21 FG
  • Desmond Bane – 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists
  • Steven Adams – 14 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 assists

The Grizzlies will be back in action on Wednesday night as they travel to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers at 9:00 P.M.

For more Grizzlies talk, subscribe to the Grizzly Bear Blues podcast network on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and IHeart. Follow Grizzly Bear Blues on Twitter and Instagram.





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Morant, Melton lead Grizzlies to opening win over Cavs


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant had 37 points and six assists, De’Anthony Melton added 20 points and the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away in the fourth for a 132-121 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night in the opener for both teams.

Morant and Melton combined for 14 points down the stretch as the Cavaliers pulled within a point on a couple of occasions but could never overtake Memphis. Desmond Bane added 22 points for Memphis.

Jarrett Allen led the Cavaliers with 25 points, hitting all 11 of his shots from the field. Allen is the first player since in the shot-clock era (since 1954) to go 10 of 10 or better in a season opener. It’s also the second time in his career that he’s gone 11 for 11. He also did it on Feb. 21, 2021, against Oklahoma City.

Collin Sexton and rookie Evan Mobley added 17 points each. Cedi Osman, keyed a first-half burst and finished with 15.

The Cavaliers, who trailed by as many as 16 in the first half, chipped away at the Memphis lead, trailing by 94-90 heading to the fourth. Allen had hit all nine of his shots from the field, and Osman had missed only one, going 5 of 6 through the first three quarters.

But Memphis opened the fourth quarter with 10 straight points to create some space. The Cavaliers had one more push — getting to 119-118 with just under two minutes left. But Morant’s floater and a layup by Melton clinched the victory.

Memphis broke open a close game in the second quarter as Melton connected on a trio of 3-pointers early in the frame and Cleveland struggled from the field. Meanwhile, Morant continued to get to the rim, converting 10 of 15 shots in the first half.

Morant scored 20 in the half as the Grizzlies stretched the lead to as many as 16 in the second quarter, eventually taking a 73-61 lead into the break. The 73 points was the fifth-highest for a first half in franchise history.

Allen had 14 first-half points to lead the Cavaliers.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff coached the Grizzlies from 2017-2019. … C Evan Mobley, the third overall pick in last summer’s draft, scored on the Cavs first possession, knocking down a 15-footer. … Allen tied a career high with three steals.

Grizzlies: G/F Dillon Brooks was out of action recovering from a left hand fracture. …Memphis is now 6-21 in season openers in franchise history. The last opening win for the Grizzlies was in 2017 over the New Orleans Pelicans. … Bane picked up Memphis’ first technical of the year, punching the air when he was called for a foul in the second quarter.

UP NEXT:

Cavaliers: Play their home opener Friday, entertaining the Charlotte Hornets.

Grizzlies: Travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Saturday in the opener of a four-game West Coast swing.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports





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Winslow has 26 points, 13 rebounds as Grizzlies defeat Kings


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Justise Winslow had season highs with 25 points and 13 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies held…

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Justise Winslow had season highs with 25 points and 13 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies held on to defeat the Sacramento Kings 107-106 on Friday night.

Killian Tillie and Xavier Tillman each had 16 points for Memphis, with Tillman adding 10 rebounds. John Konchar finished with 15 points as the Grizzlies won their fifth straight.

Louis King led the Kings with a career-high 27 points and Damian Jones added 17 points and 11 rebounds. Justin James scored 16 after scoring a career-high 31 in Sacramento’s loss to Memphis on Thursday night.

“This was a tough victory,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “Kind of got a little dicey at the end, but made just enough plays throughout the game and down the stretch. Big-time stops.”

The Kings had a chance to win it after Winslow missed a pair of free throws with 5.3 seconds left, but Terence Davis’ 3-point attempt bounced off the rim, preserving Memphis’ win.

“We had chances, but 10 for 42 from 3 is going to be tough when the ball’s not going in like that,” Sacramento coach Luke Walton said. “But the overall effort was great.”

The game meant nothing to either team as far as the standings for the postseason. The Kings were eliminated Thursday night. Meanwhile, Memphis plays at Golden State on Sunday, the winner earning the eighth seed in the Western Conference play-in tournament and the loser dropping to ninth.

With that in mind, there was a lot of “soreness” on the Grizzlies injury report. Eight Memphis players were declared out for the game, including all five starters from Thursday night.

Meanwhile, the Kings were already dealing with the loss of several top scorers, such as De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley and Harrison Barnes. Add to that Richaun Holmes, who left Thursday night’s game with right knee soreness.

That left the game mostly in the hands of the reserve squads.

“It was good to see some guys we were evaluating get some big minutes and play well,” Walton said.

King, who signed a two-way contract with Sacramento on May 1, had 16 at the first half as the Kings took a 57-53 into the break. King continued to produce after halftime.

“A lot of people don’t get this chance,” King said. “Not everyone in the NBA can say they got the opportunity to play a lot of big minutes. Fortunately, coach looked my way, and I took it as an opportunity for myself and a chance for me to shine.”

Winslow led the Grizzlies with 12 points at the half, shooting 4 of 7 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Memphis erased the Kings’ lead by outscoring Sacramento 26-19 in the third, the Grizzlies holding a 79-76 lead entering the fourth.

Memphis now is able to concentrate on Sunday’s showdown with the Warriors for a better seed in the play-in tournament. Jenkins has been reluctant to look past the two-game series with the Kings before talking about the importance of Sunday’s game.

“Obviously, a pivotal game,” Jenkins said when asked about Sunday in his postgame press conference. “We’ve still got a lot of basketball ahead of us. Big game on Sunday.

“This is the time of year you are hopefully playing your best basketball. Really proud of the efforts our guys have been giving over the last week-plus. Hopefully have that effort again on Sunday against a really good team in a really tough game.”

TIP-INS

Kings: Chimeze Metu drew a technical foul in the first quarter complaining about a no-call. Metu finished with 15 points. … King’s previous career high was five points in 2019.

Grizzlies: Winslow recorded his first double-double of the season. … G Tim Frazier grabbed his 500th career defensive rebound. … De’Anthony Melton added 10 points. … Memphis’ five-game winning streak is currently the longest in the NBA.

UP NEXT

Kings: Host the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

Grizzlies: Travel to Golden State to face the Warriors on Sunday.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.





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Quick Recap: Grizzlies fall to Knicks 118-104


The Memphis Grizzlies came into this game against the New York Knicks (one of the hottest teams in the league since April Fools Day), looking to avenge a bummer loss against the Orlando Magic. The Grizzlies entered this contest losing 3 of their past 4 games, something that’s not encouraging in the midst of a playoff push. However, could they turn their fortunes around against a Knicks team playing Thibs minutes off a back-to-back?

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The Grizzlies fell victim to a hot game from Julius Randle and Derrick Rose, as they combined for 53 points on 8-13 shooting from deep.

The Grizzlies also got hit with a parade of technicals, as Taylor Jenkins and Ja Morant got 2 and the ejection — while Dillon Brooks got one too.

Here are takeaways.

The flashes of Jaren Jackson Jr.

If there was any bright spot in this game to take away, it is Jaren Jackson Jr.’s path back to normalcy. In the first half, he flashed the skillset that makes him such a tantalizing prospect — perhaps a unicorn.

He found his rhythm from outside, and he was taking Julius Randle off the dribble. Jackson was even doing a solid job of defending without fouling the probable All-NBA big man.

Granted, was there times he showed his youth? Sure, but for a young player that hasn’t played basketball in 9 months, you take the flashes.

New York Knicks v Memphis Grizzlies

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

More flashes? Yup, with Desmond Bane.

Desmond Bane came into this game in a mini-slump from downtown. However, he came out and flashed the upside that made him such a draft darling with NBA Draft Twitter. He put the ball on the floor to make plays for himself and others. He also connected on 2 in-rhythm 3’s to bring some energy into a lifeless FedEx Forum.

When looking to achieve sustainable success, you take the flashes you get from your young players, especially ones of Bane’s skillset. It’s tough to find players of his skillset. The more comfortable he looks, the better for the team’s short-term and long-term success.

Quick Hitters

  • Dillon Brooks is unbothered. Dillon Brooks does not care what’s going on in the game — slump, run, big leads or deficits, whatever. He’s going to play his tail off from tip-off to the time the final buzzer hits. He was really the only starter to have any sort of offensive flow, using a big 3rd quarter to keep the Grizzlies in the mix. Put some respect on his name.
  • Smaller rotation? Xavier Tillman, Tyus Jones, and De’Anthony Melton all totaled 9 minutes — barely getting any run in the 2nd half. None of them lit the world on fire in the 1st half, but the shorter 2nd half rotation is a development to monitor down the playoff push.
  • Fatigue. Their defensive attention and the offensive struggles could be credited to fatigue. You can see it.They’re in a stretch of 40 games in 68 days, coming off a long road trip, and they’re working pieces together. It’s a grueling schedule, especially for the youngest team in the league.

The Grizzlies will travel to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves Wednesday.

For more Grizzlies talk, subscribe to the Grizzly Bear Blues podcast network on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and IHeart. Follow Grizzly Bear Blues on Twitter and Instagram.





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Nerlens Noel Uncertain as Knicks Face Grizzlies


After a blowout win against the Rockets, the Knicks continue their road trip to Memphis to play a feisty Grizzlies team. 

The countdown is on.

With only eight games left in the regular season for the New York Knicks (36-28), they try to solidify their spot for the fourth-seed in the Eastern Conference. It’ll be a quick turnaround for New York, coming off a lopsided 122-97 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night. On Monday, the Knicks travel to FedEx Forum to face Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies (32-31).

Despite Memphis coming off of a one-point loss to Orlando and being losers of three of their last four, Knicks guard Derrick Rose sees this game like any other.

“Because of the new system with the play-in games, we know that everybody is playing for something right now,” Knicks guard Derrick Rose said of the regular-season homestretch after last night’s win. “Teams are playing for spots. Every team is going to be a tough game, almost like a playoff game. If anything, this is what you want. You want to be playing your best basketball against elite players and teams. Hopefully, we take this momentum and reach the postseason with it.”

Gearing up for the Grindhouse

While the Grizzlies remain promising, their once strong homecourt advantage at the FedExForum has willed. Whether it be due to Maybe its COVID-19 restrictions and fan capacity limits that might be taking away from some of the atmosphere, but whatever it is, Memphis just isn’t enjoying the same success at home compared to past years. The Grizzlies are 14-17 at home while sporting an 18-14 record on the road this season.

The Knicks bested the Grizzlies before, beating them on April 9th in a 133-129 overtime win. It took a bit of a late comeback and push, but New York got the job done, thanks to R.J. Barrett scoring 15 of his 20 points between the fourth quarter and overtime to carry the Knicks back and complete the comeback.

In the first matchup, Memphis got a cast of characters playing well, as Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Desmond Bane, and Jonas Valanciunas were good, but Barrett and a bench unit led by contributions from Immanuel Quickley, Alec Burks, and Derrick Rose were just a bit better that night.

It was an important win for the Knicks, as it sparked a nine-game winning streak to catapult them up the standings. New York hit a speed bump with a loss to Phoenix, but it hasn’t lost since.

Morant is the man to watch. He shook off a two-game shooting slump with an improved 22-point, seven-assist performance on Saturday, but the Grizzlies still fell short in a 112-111 loss to Orlando. With a team-high 19.3 points and 7.3 assists per game, the young star is certainly the Grizzlies’ catalyst. As for Brooks, he can be dangerous when he heats up from deep. When he’s on, he’s on, but he’s been off the mark as of late, only cashing in on 32.5% of threes over the last eight games.

No Noel, no problem?

After leaving the game early against Houston, Knicks center Nerlens Noel’s status is uncertain for Memphis.

The seven-year center out of Kentucky has been electric since taking over for an injured Mitchell Robinson. In April, Noel averaged 5.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks with 64% shooting. His ability to offer an eraser at the rim while being athletic enough to step out and pester drivers and ball-handlers has been huge for New York to maintain their fourth-ranked defense.

Noel’s status is uncertain, but according to head coach Tom Thibodeau, the Knicks will be ready for any scenario.

“We have a lot of flexibility, where we can do both (slide Taj Gibson and Norvel Pelle in his place or play a small-ball lineup),” Thibodeau said after the Rockets game. “We’ve prepared ourselves to do both. We’ll see how the game unfolds, but we do see, of course, where Nerlens is.”

Despite Thibodeau’s confidence, the matchup against Valanciunas is a tough one. The last time he played New York, the center finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds. If Noel isn’t ready to go on Monday, the Knicks will need someone to step up and hold him down inside.

Randle Redo

While the Knicks found a way to win against the Grizzlies the last time out, it wasn’t the greatest game for Julius Randle in their previous encounter. Finishing with a triple-double: 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists, Randle never got going and shot only 4-of-12 on the floor. Fortunately, Barrett and other Knicks were able to spark a comeback and win it in overtime.

Sunday night was another dominant display for Randle, who piled up 31 points, seven boards, six assists, and a steal through three-quarters of work. He got some added rest throughout the fourth quarter, which is a rarity for Randle, who averages 37.5 minutes per game—the most out of everyone in the NBA.

So with a rested Randle, the Knicks will look to go 2-0 to start the six-game road trip. However, the Grizzlies made New York work in their last matchup, so they’ll have to remain focus to come away with the victory. And for Thibodeau, a plan B has to be in order, just in case, Noel can’t go.

Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. ET.

 

»READ: Julius Randle has been the offensive engine of the New York Knicks

»READ: Derrick Rose has established himself as a key part of Knicks’ second-half success

»READ: R.J. Barrett is becoming a defensive force under Tom Thibodeau’s tutelage





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Valanciunas leads late burst as Grizzlies beat Bulls 101-90


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas had 26 points and 14 rebounds, leading a fourth-quarter burst that carried the Memphis Grizzlies to a 101-90 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

Valanciunas, who had 32 points and 22 rebounds a night earlier in a loss to the Indiana Pacers, scored 10 in the fourth as Memphis used an 18-6 run to break open a close game.

“Jonas is Jonas, man,” said second-year guard Ja Morant. “He’s a top player for us. He commands the paint. Protects the paint. A walking double-double.”

Valanciunas’ double-double was his 15th in a row, setting a franchise record.

“It’s not an individual sport,” Valanciunas said. “I would not be doing it without my teammates, first of all. Second thing, I’m playing with a high energy. I’m putting a lot of work in trying to go for every rebound. Trying to go for every putback. Stuff like that. That pays off.”

Dillon Brooks finished with 17 points and Grayson Allen added 14. Morant had 13 points and 10 assists.

Zach LaVine scored 21 points, but he was just 5 for 14 from the field as the Bulls lost their third straight. Thaddeus Young scored 20 and Daniel Theis had 18. Nikola Vucevic finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

“I think it’s going to be really, really hard to have a lot of guys in double figures when you shoot (42%) from the field and 16% from the 3-point line.” Chicago coach Billy Donovan said. “I think our bench was 0 for 12 from 3. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well all the way around as a team.”

The teams stayed close through the first three quarters. Vucevic provided a bit of a buffer for the Bulls, scoring 12 in the period for a 74-70 lead entering the fourth.

The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 27, but called off due to health and safety protocols. That left both teams playing Monday on the second night of a back-to-back, and coming off losses.

“We know what we are capable of,” Morant said. “How we are able to bounce back from a loss and move on.”

The lingering effects of the consecutive games still showed early. Neither team managed more than 46% shooting in the first half, and Memphis added to its problems with 12 turnovers, while the Bulls committed nine.

That made for a close half. A 16-6 run to close it gave Memphis a 48-47 lead at intermission.

Neither team led by double digits until Memphis’ run in the fourth.

“Every night we have one category that we don’t perform well,” said Theis, who came over last month in a trade with Boston. “One night the turnover costs us the game. (Sunday against Minnesota) we didn’t get to the line a lot, …Today, we didn’t shoot the ball well from 3.

“Now, we have to put it together. We play defense like (Monday), and we make those shots, we’re going to win games.”

TIP-INS

Bulls: The game wrapped up a span where Chicago played nine of its last 10 on the road. The exception was a home win over Brooklyn on April 4. … Theis was 7 of 8 in the first half, scoring 14 points. … Vucevic tied his season high with five steals. … Chicago’s six-game winning streak in the series was snapped.

Grizzlies: Travel to Chicago on Friday for the second game of the season home-and-home series. The game in Chicago is the first of a seven-game road trip for Memphis. … Valanciunas’ streak topped Zach Randolph’s consecutive games with a double-double from 2011.

SHOOTING OF DAUNTE WRIGHT

In his pregame comments, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins addressed the shooting of Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb. Jenkins said the incident “has just been another reminder about how there is so much change that needs to happen in our country.”

“More work needs to be done,” Jenkins said, “and we talked as a team about the importance of using our voices to speak out on injustices, how there needs to be equality for all, how these situations are avoidable and change needs to happen. There’s a long road ahead.”

UP NEXT

Bulls: Host Orlando on Wednesday

Grizzlies: Host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA



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Valanciunas leads late burst as Grizzlies beat Bulls 101-90


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas had 26 points and 14 rebounds, leading a fourth-quarter burst that carried the Memphis Grizzlies to a 101-90 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

Valanciunas, who had 32 points and 22 rebounds a night earlier in a loss to the Indiana Pacers, scored 10 in the fourth as Memphis used an 18-6 run to break open a close game.

“Jonas is Jonas, man,” said second-year guard Ja Morant. “He’s a top player for us. He commands the paint. Protects the paint. A walking double-double.”

Valanciunas’ double-double was his 15th in a row, setting a franchise record.

“It’s not an individual sport,” Valanciunas said. “I would not be doing it without my teammates, first of all. Second thing, I’m playing with a high energy. I’m putting a lot of work in trying to go for every rebound. Trying to go for every putback. Stuff like that. That pays off.”

Dillon Brooks finished with 17 points and Grayson Allen added 14. Morant had 13 points and 10 assists.

Zach LaVine scored 21 points, but he was just 5 for 14 from the field as the Bulls lost their third straight. Thaddeus Young scored 20 and Daniel Theis had 18. Nikola Vucevic finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

“I think it’s going to be really, really hard to have a lot of guys in double figures when you shoot (42%) from the field and 16% from the 3-point line.” Chicago coach Billy Donovan said. “I think our bench was 0 for 12 from 3. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well all the way around as a team.”

The teams stayed close through the first three quarters. Vucevic provided a bit of a buffer for the Bulls, scoring 12 in the period for a 74-70 lead entering the fourth.

The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 27, but called off due to health and safety protocols. That left both teams playing Monday on the second night of a back-to-back, and coming off losses.

“We know what we are capable of,” Morant said. “How we are able to bounce back from a loss and move on.”

The lingering effects of the consecutive games still showed early. Neither team managed more than 46% shooting in the first half, and Memphis added to its problems with 12 turnovers, while the Bulls committed nine.

That made for a close half. A 16-6 run to close it gave Memphis a 48-47 lead at intermission.

Neither team led by double digits until Memphis’ run in the fourth.

“Every night we have one category that we don’t perform well,” said Theis, who came over last month in a trade with Boston. “One night the turnover costs us the game. (Sunday against Minnesota) we didn’t get to the line a lot, …Today, we didn’t shoot the ball well from 3.

“Now, we have to put it together. We play defense like (Monday), and we make those shots, we’re going to win games.”

TIP-INS

Bulls: The game wrapped up a span where Chicago played nine of its last 10 on the road. The exception was a home win over Brooklyn on April 4. … Theis was 7 of 8 in the first half, scoring 14 points. … Vucevic tied his season high with five steals. … Chicago’s six-game winning streak in the series was snapped.

Grizzlies: Travel to Chicago on Friday for the second game of the season home-and-home series. The game in Chicago is the first of a seven-game road trip for Memphis. … Valanciunas’ streak topped Zach Randolph’s consecutive games with a double-double from 2011.

SHOOTING OF DAUNTE WRIGHT

In his pregame comments, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins addressed the shooting of Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb. Jenkins said the incident “has just been another reminder about how there is so much change that needs to happen in our country.”

“More work needs to be done,” Jenkins said, “and we talked as a team about the importance of using our voices to speak out on injustices, how there needs to be equality for all, how these situations are avoidable and change needs to happen. There’s a long road ahead.”

UP NEXT

Bulls: Host Orlando on Wednesday

Grizzlies: Host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA



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Valanciunas leads late burst as Grizzlies beat Bulls 101-90


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas had 26 points and 14 rebounds, leading a fourth-quarter burst that carried the Memphis Grizzlies to a 101-90 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

Valanciunas, who had 32 points and 22 rebounds a night earlier in a loss to the Indiana Pacers, scored 10 in the fourth as Memphis used an 18-6 run to break open a close game.

“Jonas is Jonas, man,” said second-year guard Ja Morant. “He’s a top player for us. He commands the paint. Protects the paint. A walking double-double.”

Valanciunas’ double-double was his 15th in a row, setting a franchise record.

“It’s not an individual sport,” Valanciunas said. “I would not be doing it without my teammates, first of all. Second thing, I’m playing with a high energy. I’m putting a lot of work in trying to go for every rebound. Trying to go for every putback. Stuff like that. That pays off.”

Dillon Brooks finished with 17 points and Grayson Allen added 14. Morant had 13 points and 10 assists.

Zach LaVine scored 21 points, but he was just 5 for 14 from the field as the Bulls lost their third straight. Thaddeus Young scored 20 and Daniel Theis had 18. Nikola Vucevic finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

“I think it’s going to be really, really hard to have a lot of guys in double figures when you shoot (42%) from the field and 16% from the 3-point line.” Chicago coach Billy Donovan said. “I think our bench was 0 for 12 from 3. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well all the way around as a team.”

The teams stayed close through the first three quarters. Vucevic provided a bit of a buffer for the Bulls, scoring 12 in the period for a 74-70 lead entering the fourth.

The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 27, but called off due to health and safety protocols. That left both teams playing Monday on the second night of a back-to-back, and coming off losses.

“We know what we are capable of,” Morant said. “How we are able to bounce back from a loss and move on.”

The lingering effects of the consecutive games still showed early. Neither team managed more than 46% shooting in the first half, and Memphis added to its problems with 12 turnovers, while the Bulls committed nine.

That made for a close half. A 16-6 run to close it gave Memphis a 48-47 lead at intermission.

Neither team led by double digits until Memphis’ run in the fourth.

“Every night we have one category that we don’t perform well,” said Theis, who came over last month in a trade with Boston. “One night the turnover costs us the game. (Sunday against Minnesota) we didn’t get to the line a lot, …Today, we didn’t shoot the ball well from 3.

“Now, we have to put it together. We play defense like (Monday), and we make those shots, we’re going to win games.”

TIP-INS

Bulls: The game wrapped up a span where Chicago played nine of its last 10 on the road. The exception was a home win over Brooklyn on April 4. … Theis was 7 of 8 in the first half, scoring 14 points. … Vucevic tied his season high with five steals. … Chicago’s six-game winning streak in the series was snapped.

Grizzlies: Travel to Chicago on Friday for the second game of the season home-and-home series. The game in Chicago is the first of a seven-game road trip for Memphis. … Valanciunas’ streak topped Zach Randolph’s consecutive games with a double-double from 2011.

SHOOTING OF DAUNTE WRIGHT

In his pregame comments, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins addressed the shooting of Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb. Jenkins said the incident “has just been another reminder about how there is so much change that needs to happen in our country.”

“More work needs to be done,” Jenkins said, “and we talked as a team about the importance of using our voices to speak out on injustices, how there needs to be equality for all, how these situations are avoidable and change needs to happen. There’s a long road ahead.”

UP NEXT

Bulls: Host Orlando on Wednesday

Grizzlies: Host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA



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