NBA regular season

Grizzlies ‘Big 3’ play first game of season together, blow out Suns

Reuters
Grizzlies ‘Big 3’ play first game of season together, blow out Suns

TOGETHER. Ja Morant (12) celebrates a shot against the Phoenix Suns in the first half at Footprint Center

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports-Reuters

Memphis' 'Big 3' of Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson, Jr. play together healthy for the first time this season as the Grizzlies wallop the Phoenix Suns

Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke each recorded 24 points and 10 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies never trailed while steamrolling the host Phoenix Suns 125-100 on Friday night (Saturday, December 24, Manila time).

Desmond Bane returned from a toe injury to score 17 points for Memphis, which improved to 1-2 on a four-game road trip. Dillon Brooks scored 16 points and Ja Morant had 12 points and 11 assists for the Grizzlies.

Deandre Ayton scored 18 points and Landry Shamet added 15 for the Suns, who lost for the seventh time in 10 contests. Duane Washington Jr. scored 14 points and Chris Paul and Damion Lee had 10 points apiece for Phoenix.

The Suns were without Devin Booker (groin) for the third straight game.

The Grizzlies have won three straight against Phoenix. The teams play again Tuesday in Memphis.

Bane was cleared to return earlier Friday after a 17-game absence. He made 4 of 13 field-goal attempts while playing 24 minutes.

The Grizzlies shot 49.5 percent from the field, including 7 of 23 from 3-point range. Clarke made 7 of 10 shots while achieving a season-best point total and falling three shy of his career high.

Steven Adams collected 11 rebounds as Memphis owned a 53-35 advantage on the boards.

Phoenix made 43.7 percent of its shots and was 9 of 35 from behind the arc.

Memphis came out hot and scored the first eight points and 13 of 15.

The Grizzlies increased the lead to 23-6 on a dunk by Adams with 5:16 left in the quarter. Clarke made two free throws to push the lead to 32-10 with 3:24 left.

Memphis led 39-20 after the quarter and continued to stretch the lead in the second. Brooks’ basket made it 59-31 with 1:39 left in the half before Phoenix scored the final seven points to trail by 21 at the break.

The Suns trailed by 17 after a 3-pointer by Shamet with 4:34 left in the third quarter. The Grizzlies answered with a 14-1 burst with Ziaire Williams ending it with back-to-back dunks to make it 93-63 with 2:01 to go in the period.

Memphis led 97-69 entering the fourth quarter and continued to control the contest. – Rappler.com

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