How do you know when Jaren Jackson Jr. is taking over a game?
We’ve never really known the answer to this question because it’s never really happened before. But if tonight is any indication, then the answer is “the threes keep getting deeper.”
Jackson broke the record for most points in a quarter in franchise history during the third quarter tonight, scoring 26 points in the quarter alone while making seven (SEVEN) threes after he he only had 9 points prior. The game itself, which the Grizzlies lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 127-114 at FedExForum, almost seemed like an afterthought when Jackson played like the superstar that he has been billed to be.
Old issues plagued the Grizzlies and Jaren Jackson Jr. in particular in the first quarter as he picked up two fouls within the first six minutes. The Grizzlies also struggled to slow down Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, allowing them to combine for 17 points. However, Dillon Brooks picked right up where he left in the Suns game as he scored eight points in the period, keeping the deficit at just 35-29 at the end of the first.
The Grizzlies were then able to use volume three-point shooting (10-26 in the half) and opportunistic defense (16 points on 11 Bucks turnovers) to take the lead before a George Hill heave gave the Bucks a 64-62 halftime lead. Dillon added 9 points in the frame, and Jaren managed to exit the half without committing a fourth foul. Oh, and Kyle Anderson predictably had the slowest poster dunk in NBA history.
Just got a google alert that Kyle Anderson dunked on Giannis’ head pic.twitter.com/8kzU1Fc6Ez— Fastbreak Breakfast (@fastbreakbreak) December 14, 2019
As the opening minutes of the third quarter ticked by, it appeared that the Bucks may run away with the game, especially after a dunk by Giannis put them ahead by 10. But Jaren Jackson’s nuclear supernova allowed the Grizzlies to take a 95-90 lead into the fourth.
However, Taylor Jenkins left the starters on the bench too long, and Giannis dominated the fourth, scoring 19 points in the quarter alone. The Bucks defense, which ranked first in the league coming into the game, also nearly completely shut off the water to the Grizzlies offense. The Grizzlies competed as hard and as long as they possibly could, but they could only hold onto the rope for about three and a half quarters against a Bucks team that has now won 17 games in a row.
Jaren Jackson came just two points short of the franchise record, totaling 43 for the game on 14-21 shooting and 9-15 shooting from three. Giannis and Middleton finished with 37 and 26 points respectively. Dillon Brooks continued his hot play with 19 points on 4-7 shooting from three. Jae Crowder added 15 points and 11 rebounds.
It probably goes without saying that this will be the first of many battles between Jaren Jackson Jr. and Giannis Antetokoump. And if those future battles are anything like tonight, then we will have some highlights to remembers from possibly two generational stars for years to come.
With another one in Ja Morant coming along nicely.