Ja Morant scored a franchise-record and career-high 46 points while outdueling DeMar DeRozan and leading the Memphis Grizzlies to a 116-110 victory over the host Chicago Bulls on Saturday night, February 26 (Sunday, February 27, Manila time).
Morant broke Mike Miller’s regular-season Grizzlies record of 45 points set on February 21, 2007, against the Golden State Warriors.
Steven Adams contributed 12 points and a season-high 21 rebounds as Memphis snapped a two-game slide. Desmond Bane added 12 points and Tyus Jones scored 11 for the Grizzlies.
DeRozan scored 31 points to extend his streak of 30-point outings to 10, one shy of the franchise mark set by Michael Jordan during the 1986-1987 season. Jordan also had a 10-game streak during the 1990-1991 campaign.
However, DeRozan was just 10-of-29 shooting as his NBA record streak of consecutive 35-point outings while shooting at least 50% from the field ended at eight games.
Zach LaVine scored 28 points and Coby White added 15 for the Bulls, who had a six-game winning streak halted. Javonte Green tallied 12 points and Nikola Vucevic registered 11 points and 13 rebounds.
LaVine made two free throws with 25.5 seconds remaining to bring the Bulls within 111-110 and Jones made two for the Grizzlies to make it a three-point margin with 14.9 seconds left.
But DeRozan turned the ball over in the lane and was ejected with 5.3 seconds after arguing that he was fouled.
Morant made the technical and added two free throws to make it a six-point margin as the Grizzlies defeated Chicago for the fourth straight time.
Memphis shot 44% from the field, including 7-of-23 from behind the arc. The Grizzlies held a 61-41 rebounding edge.
The Bulls made 41.9% of their shots and were 9-of-20 from three-point range.
The Grizzlies led 101-85 after a basket by Jones with 9:06 remaining before Chicago answered with 14 consecutive points. DeRozan had six points during the surge, including two free throws to cap it with 4:38 left.
Morant responded with back-to-back baskets to give Memphis a 105-99 lead with 3:19 to play.
DeRozan and White each hit three-pointers in a 36-second span as the Bulls pulled within 106-105 with 2:28 left.
Morant had 16 points and Adams posted 11 points and 14 rebounds in the first half as the Grizzlies held a 59-52 lead.
Morant later slammed home a dunk on the alley-oop feed by Jones to make it 93-77 with 19.9 seconds left in the third period. DeRozan made two free throws with 0.5 seconds left to cut the Chicago deficit to 14 entering the fourth quarter. – Rappler.com