As the current #2 seed in the Western Conference and riding a five-game winning streak , the Memphis Grizzlies continued their five-game home stand against the Atlanta Hawks. Unfortunately, the star point guard matchup between Ja Morant and Trae Young wouldn’t happen because both players were ruled out with injuries.
Trae Young (back) ruled out Monday.— Underdog NBA (@Underdog__NBA) December 12, 2022
Grizzlies starting center Steven Adams was ruled out as well with the ankle injury he suffered Friday against the Detroit Pistons. However, rookie 1st round pick Jake LaRavia returned to the lineup after missing the past six games with foot soreness.
Tyus Jones and Brandon Clarke started in place of Ja Morant and Steven Adams, respectively. John Konchar, Dillon Brooks, and Jaren Jackson Jr. rounded out the starting five for the Grizzlies. Without their star backcourt and most of their starting five, the Hawks started AJ Griffin, Trent Forrest, De’Andre Hunter, Jalen Johnson, and Onyeka Okongwu.
The Grizzlies began the game on fire making their first nine field goals including 5-5 from three to lead 23-15 within the first five minutes of the game. Jaren Jackson Jr. kick-started things with a monster dunk to open the scoring.
Tyus Jones was especially aggressive to begin the game, displaying his best Ja Morant impersonation with 10 points and 4 assists. However, the Atlanta Hawks kept pace with the scorching-hot Grizzlies, even taking the lead 29-27 before the Grizzlies ended the 1st quarter on an 8-0 run including a thunderous slam by Kennedy Chandler for the last bucket to lead 35-29.
Kennedy Chandler is Memphis. pic.twitter.com/RrbkuWNyrH— Jessica Benson (@jessbensontv) December 13, 2022
The Grizzlies continued that run to start the 2nd quarter with Brandon Clarke joining the dunk party to make it a 10-0 run. The Grizzlies made it a 14-0 run before De’Andre Hunter ended it with a three for the Hawks, sparking a quick 6-0 run for them to cut the 12-point lead to 6.
Santi Aldama got heavily involved in the action with 10 points in the quarter to lead the bench unit, helping the Grizzlies to extend the lead back out to double-digits. However, after leading by as many as 17, the Hawks ended the half on a 6-0 run to cut the halftime lead to 11 at 62-51.
Tyus Jones led all scorers with 16 points to go along with 7 assists. Jaren Jackson Jr. lived up to his “Block Panther” nickname with 6 blocks to go along with 6 points and 4 rebounds in the first half. Santi Aldama led the bench unit with 13 points and 3 rebounds at the half.
When Jaren Jackson Jr see someone driving to the basket: pic.twitter.com/INm9kvA0ng— 3 the Hardaway (@3theHardawayPod) December 10, 2022
Jaren Jackson Jr. got the 2nd half-scoring started with the first five points in the half for the Grizzlies to kick-start a 16-6 run to extend the lead out to 21 points at 78-57. Tyus Jones recorded his 3rd double-double and 20 and 10 game of the season midway through the 3rd quarter. Even had Brevin Knight yelling out “Get Up Tyus” on his fastbreak layup:
The Grizzlies’ bench unit took the reigns and extended the lead out to as many as 31 points at 98-67 before ending the 3rd quarter leading 102-76. The Grizzlies scored 40 points in the 3rd quarter.
The Grizzlies continued pouring on the Hawks, extending the lead out to 34 points at 114-80 which led to an early “Hammer, Nail, Coffin this baby is over” by Pete Pranica with 7:15 remaining. Jaren Jackson Jr. posted a new career high with 8 blocks, tying the franchise record for blocks in a single game with the Gasol brothers and Stromile Swift.
Kennedy Chandler continued his highlight play day with an amazing block adding to his breakaway dunk to end the 1st quarter.
Fan favorite Kenny Lofton Jr. entered the game for the final 3 minutes and scored 4 points to keep the crowd hyped as expected and the Grizzlies finished a dominating performance with a 128-103 victory.
Grizz win 128-103.— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) December 13, 2022
Jaren Jackson with 15 points and 8 blocks
Tyus Jones with 22 points and 10 assists.
Santi Adama 16 points and 5 rebounds.
The Grizzlies may have been shorthanded themselves but they took advantage of an even more shorthanded Hawks team that doesn’t have the same depth as the Grizzlies. Tyus Jones continued his excellence starting in place of Ja Morant to lead a starting unit that all had +/- in the double-digits. Seven players scored in double figures and the team combined for 20 blocks and steals and 36 assists. Excellent all-around performance for the Grizzlies as they won their 6th game in a row.