NBA regular season

Grizzlies still perfect with Morant after win over Pelicans


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Grizzlies still perfect with Morant after win over Pelicans

DUO. Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) celebrates going to overtime with guard Desmond Bane (22) against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Smoothie King Center.

Stephen Lew/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Grizzlies have won four straight matches since star guard Ja Morant returned from a 25-game suspension

Ja Morant scored 31 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 4 of his 19 points in overtime as the visiting Memphis Grizzlies improved to 4-0 since his return by defeating the New Orleans Pelicans, 116-115, on Tuesday, December 26 (Wednesday, December 28, Manila time).

Desmond Bane added 27 points, Marcus Smart had 13, and Jackson added 10 rebounds as the Grizzlies beat the Pelicans for the second time in eight days – the first win coming in Morant’s season debut following a 25-game suspension to open the season.

Brandon Ingram scored 24 points and Zion Williamson had 23 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans. Jonas Valanciunas added 17 points and 13 rebounds, CJ McCollum scored 16 points, and Dyson Daniels (11 points) and Trey Murphy III (10) were effective off the bench.

The score was tied at 109 before Jackson made consecutive driving layups to give Memphis a four-point lead with 51 seconds left in overtime.

The Grizzlies never surrendered the lead again, with McCollum’s three-pointer as time expired drawing the Pelicans to within a whisker for the final margin.

The Pelicans were trying to increase a one-point lead when they committed a shot-clock violation with 8.5 seconds left in regulation.

After the Grizzlies won a jump ball, Jackson was fouled on an inbounds lob with 0.4 seconds remaining. He made the first free throw to tie the score but missed the second, sending the game to overtime.

McCollum scored 5 points and Williamson 4 as New Orleans increased its five-point halftime lead to 9 points early in the third quarter.

Morant had an assist and made a three-pointer and two free throws to help the Grizzles pull within 2 points with 6:26 left in the quarter.

Ingram scored 9 points and added an assist during a 19-8 run that increased the Pelicans’ lead to 80-67 at the end of the third quarter.

Smart made consecutive three-pointers to start Memphis’ fourth-quarter scoring and then added an assist and a layup as the Grizzlies closed within 84-77 less than three minutes into the fourth.

Bane’s three-point play and Vince Williams Jr.’s three-pointer helped Memphis get within 4 at 97-93 with 3:34 left.

Bane then made a three-pointer to trim the lead to 1 with 33.6 seconds left. –

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