Throughout this season, Jaren Jackson Jr. has had plenty of highs and lows, even as he has generally always been positively impactful. But at least for today, he put it all together, proving to be an unstoppable force on both ends as the Memphis Grizzlies dominated the Los Angeles Clippers 123-108 in the absence of Ja Morant. Jackson had 26 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 5 blocks.
The first half was an explosive mix of emotions, especially for a matinee game. The Clippers led 36-28 at the end of the first quarter they simply couldn’t miss. They were 8-12 from three early in the second quarter with Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, and Nicholas Batum accounting for all of those makes. To make matters worse, Dillon Brooks went out with an ankle injury early in the second.
Still, the Grizzlies demonstrated their same resilience that has characterized them this season, as they rallied from a 12-point second quarter deficit to take a 66-56 halftime lead. The players the Grizzlies needed to step up in the absence of Ja Morant and Brooks did exactly that, as Tyus Jones, Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson combined for 39 points in the half.
That trend continued into the second half, as Desmond Bane opened the third quarter with an 8-point flurry. The Clippers would cut it to as much as 6 near the end of the third behind superb scoring from Marcus Morris, but a Killian Tillie three would give the Grizzlies a 94-84 lead going into the fourth. And the Grizzlies would never look back from there, leading by as many as 25 in the fourth.
Bane continued to be phenomenal, finishing with 23 points on 9-15 shooting and 5-8 from three along with 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Tyus added 18 points and 5 assists, while De’Anthony Melton was impactful despite a 2-12 shooting performance, totaling 8 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists.
The Grizzlies move to 27-14 and will play the Lakers in Los Angeles tomorrow night at 8:30 PM CST.