While the Memphis Grizzlies greatly struggled over the weekend in NBA action, they had the fortune of not playing an actual NBA team tonight, as they crushed the hapless 1-13 Houston Rockets. Ja Morant led the Grizzlies with a 22-6-6 stat-line on 9-15 shooting and didn’t even have to play in the
Daniel Theis opened the action with a wide-open three, and you would have been forgiven if you had expected more of the same defensive struggles on the perimeter that have characterized Memphis’ season so far. But the Grizzlies rallied with greater defensive intensity than has been seen in weeks, wreaking havoc in passing lanes and containing dribble penetration, and would take a 33-20 1st quarter lead, as the Rockets shot just 33% from the field and 20% from three in the frame.
Although the Rockets would manage to find better offensive rythym behind the interior presence of Christian Wood and Jae’Sean Tate, who combined for 25 in the first half, the Grizzlies remained firmly in control. Ja Morant, who briefly went to the locker room after a questionable no-call in which he was hit in the head, returned to the game near the beginning of the 2nd quarter and paced the Grizzlies along with Dillon Brooks with 14 points a piece as the Grizzlies led 73-56 at halftime.
They would never look back from there, as they would lead by as much as 40 near the end of the third quarter. The Rockets may not be an NBA team, but it was still an encouraging return to form for a struggling Grizzlies team.
Other box score notes: Jaren Jackson Jr. bounced back from an awful Saturday night, finishing with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Dillon Brooks continued his solid return, posting 16 points on 6-14 shooting in 23 minutes. Kyle Anderson added 15 points on 6-9 shooting.
The Grizzlies will play the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night in Memphis.