The Memphis Grizzlies didn’t overcome the mighty Milwaukee Bucks, but what did you expect? They were going up against a top-3 team in the league at full strength with the MVP at the helm. Not to mention, they came into Memphis riding in a 15-game winning streak.
Oh, the Grizzlies were also missing Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke, two of their three best players. It wasn’t supposed to be pretty. In fact, it could’ve gotten ugly. However, the longest-tenured Grizzlies, Dillon Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr., kept them in the game for a large portion of the game thanks to a bit of scoring explosion.
The first half really belonged to Dillon Brooks, who did a great job of creating his own shot within the offense, especially considering he didn’t have Ja Morant setting him up. His scoring off the dribble has been a huge asset this season, and he continued relying on that facet of his game in this one. He was also a downtown threat, knocking down 4 of his 7 treys, including an and-1 from downtown. Brooks finished with 19 points on 6-17 shooting.
The third quarter was straight-up a mixtape.
What Jaren Jackson Jr. did in that quarter was like a heat check similar to Steph Curry or Klay Thompson. Every shot he hoisted felt like it was going in. He fired away with defenders draped all over him, and sometimes it seemed like he wasn’t even really looking at the basket or had a full grip on the basketball. He just unconsciously let it fly, generating playoff-level hype in the Forum.
It’s crazy to think about how this is the type of player Jaren Jackson Jr. could be. He’s a 7-footer with guard skills, in terms of ball-handling and shooting. Meanwhile, his hot nights could make you think he’s a long-lost Splash Brother. It’s truly amazing to think about.
Jackson finished with 43 points, two away from tying Mike Miller’s single-game record for points scored. He also set franchise records in 3’s made (9) and points in a quarter (26).
Though the Grizzlies didn’t get the win here, it was truly remarkable to witness Jackson at his newfound peak. It was great to see Dillon Brooks continue to show his worth for the future of this time. It was awesome to watch this team compete with one of the league’s elite, even though they were missing two of their best players.
It gives off a soothing energy knowing that it’s all okay, even in a loss.