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Recap: Grizzlies blow out Pistons for second time in a week

Memphis uses a strong 3rd quarter to blow out Detroit

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Detroit Pistons v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies (16-9) enter tonight’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons (7-20) on a 4-game win streak after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday in the second game of a 5 game home stand. The Pistons enter the matchup having lost 3 games in a row, with the losing streak starting with a loss against the Grizzlies last Sunday in Detroit. The Grizzlies look to avoid the Pistons avenging last weekends 122-112 loss in which the Grizzlies trio of Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks went off.

The Grizzlies jumped out to an early lead thanks to a hot 12-4 start in the opening minutes of the quarter. The Grizzlies were able to extend their lead out to double digits by the midway point of the quarter as Dillon Brooks (7 points) and Steven Adams (6 points) got to work early for Memphis. Bojan Bogdanovic started to cook midway through the second quarter to give the Pistons some life and get them back in the game. The Grizzlies controlled a majority of the first quarter as they took a 34-27 lead at the end of the first quarter behind 11 points from Dillon Brooks. Bogdanovic’s 9 points were a key point of Pistons offense that really kept them afloat throughout the first.

Detroit took momentum from the Grizzlies to start the second quarter, able to tie things up early in the quarter thanks to strong efforts from Marvin Bagley and a trio of triples from Kevin Knox. Ja Morant and Steven Adams checked back in for the Grizzlies to help them retake and extend their lead midway through the quarter. The Grizzlies extended their lead to as much as 10 before taking a 61-53 lead into the halftime break.

Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks both scored 12 points a piece for the Grizzlies, with Steven Adams chipping in 8 points and 6 rebounds. Ja Morant paced the Grizzlies offense with 7 points and 6 assists, picking and choosing his opportunities as the focal point for the Piston’s defense. Bojan Bodganovic and Kevin Knox scored 13 points each for Detroit, with Marvin Bagley chipping in 10 points as that trio carried the Pistons offense in the first half as Jaden Ivey (4 points on 1-7 shooting) struggled to get going offensively.

Ja Morant led the Grizzlies as they came out swinging to start the third quarter on a 12-5 run. Morant scored 8 points in just over 2 and a half minutes to open the quarter for Memphis. Morant played the entire quarter as the Grizzlies lead got as high as 21 points in the quarter. Morant was in total control all quarter scoring 8 points while also dishing out 4 assists and playing great defense forcing turnovers and setting the tone on that end. The Grizzlies took a 98-78 lead into the 4th quarter.

The 4th quarter was largely uneventful as the Grizzlies didn’t fully run away with the game, but the Pistons never really made it a game throughout the quarter. Steven Adams had to be helped to the locker room midway through the quarter with what appeared to be an ankle injury. The Grizzlies effort level dropped over the final 6 minutes of the quarter as the Pistons were able to claw back into to the game and keep the score respectable. The Grizzlies ultimately came away with the 114-103 win to improve to 17-9 on the season.

Quick Takeaways

Detroit Pistons v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The struggles at the free throw line are getting worrisome: The Grizzlies shot 17-32 from the free throw line in tonight’s win. The Grizzlies have been great at getting to the line this season, but not great at taking the free points. The 53.1% is another terrible shooting night from the charity stripe.

Jaren Jackson Jr. the All-Star: JJJ has been playing at an All-Star level since he returned from an offseason foot injury. He’s been as fantastic as he was last season on the defensive end, blocking what feels like every other shot. Offensively he’s been great at balancing his attack both inside and outside the arc. He doesn’t settle for many triples, and his dribble-drive game has gotten him some great looks at the rim. He finished tonight with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 steals.

Santi Aldama is adjusting to the bench role nicely: I have to admit I was a little skeptical how Aldama would adjust to moving to the bench after Jaren Jackson Jr.’s return to the lineup. While he’s been inconsistent at times, his hot run to start the season continues. He still picks his spots wisely and has been efficient with his shot on the offensive end. He’ll need to continue to develop on the defensive end, as Marvin Bagley attacked him on multiple occasions tonight. Regardless, Aldama finished with a very nice 9 point, 5 rebound, 2 steal stat line.

The Grizzlies home stand continues on Monday as they host Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks.

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