Surprisingly, there were a lot of interesting angles in tonight’s game with the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers. It was Murray State night in FedExForum, so those fans traveled well to see everyone’s favorite Racer. A top-5 pick battle between Ja Morant and Darius Garland Was about to play out.
Would Ja Morant try to recreate this?
The Grizzlies and Cavs traded the lead throughout the first quarter, as the home team closed the period up 27-25. For the Grizz, Dillon Brooks and Jonas Valanciunas ran the quarter. Brooks was able to create off the dribble with ease, and he also canned two 3s. Meanwhile, Valanciunas feasted on the glass, finishing with 9 rebounds in the quarter. On a more negative note, Jackson got into quick foul trouble, picking up 3 fouls in 5 minutes, so that always stinks.
The second quarter was a sluggish one for Memphis, as the Cavs jumped out to a lead as much as 9. However, Grayson Allen supplied them with much-needed firepower in the quarter. He scored 9 points in the period, including a transition jam on Darius Garland. De’Anthony Melton was a menace on defense, finishing the half with 4 steals. The Grizzlies closed the half down 56-54.
The second half started pretty well for Memphis. Ja Morant made two dazzling plays in transition — one being a mid-air pass to Jaren, and the other one being an alley oop jam. Later, Dillon Brooks started cooking with little regard for the analytics movement. He scored 15 points in the quarter, with only 6 of them coming from downtown. He continued to create in the mid-range with ease, taking advantage of the size advantage over Colin Sexton. The Grizzlies closed the quarter with a resounding 16 point lead.
The Cavs started to chip away in the fourth at a slow rate. Ja almost ended Larry Nance’s career, but he instead dropped a juicy no-look pass to Jaren, who couldn’t finish off the dish.
Ja almost had the assist of the year pic.twitter.com/mS8Xmt706L— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 18, 2020
Though he didn’t connect there, Ja dropped some nice dimes to Jonas Valanciunas and Brandon Clarke for easy buckets.
The Cavaliers’ comeback effort was admirable, but the Grizzlies ultimately kept the lead to secure a 113-109 win.
- Dillon Brooks - 26 points
- Ja Morant - 16 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds
- Jonas Valanciunas - 8 points, 18 rebounds, 4 assists
- Brandon Clarke - 15 points, 2 blocks
- Jae Crowder - 9 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals