Starting shooting guard Desmond Bane was ruled out due to Return from Injury Management with the Grizzlies playing on a 2nd night of a back-to-back after defeating the Charlotte Hornets last night. Reserve forward Brandon Clarke was also ruled out for a 3rd consecutive game with a left hip injury he suffered in the New Year’s Eve game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
.@memgrizz status report, Jan. 5 at @OrlandoMagic:— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) January 5, 2023
Desmond Bane - Return from Injury Management (RT Big Toe)
Brandon Clarke - LT Hip Soreness
Danny Green - LT Knee Surgery Recovery
Jake LaRavia - NBA G League Assignment
Kenneth Lofton Jr. - NBA G League Two-Way Transfer
John Konchar received his 22nd start of this season in place of Desmond Bane while the rest of the starting five consisted of the usual: Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Steven Adams. The Magic starting 5 consisted of Markelle Fultz, Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, and Wendell Carter, Jr.
The game started very slow for the offenses on both sides. The Grizzlies began the game shooting 3-10, and Orlando began shooting 2-10 leading to a 6-4 Grizzlies lead with 6:48 remaining in the 1st quarter. Despite the slow start, Ja Morant did leave us with this highlight:
Jaren Jackson Jr. got 3 early blocks but the continued struggles of the Grizzlies’ offense continued as the Orlando Magic made a run to take a 6-point lead at 15-9.
The Grizzlies responded with a 13-5 run after making 3 threes in a row to regain the lead at 22-20 at the end of the first quarter.
Jaren Jackson Jr. kicked off the second quarter with a 4-point play helping the Grizzlies to extend their lead to 8 points at 28-20 after a midrange bucket from Dillon Brooks. Ziaire Williams joined in on the action with a sweet euro step followed by a 3-pointer as the Grizzlies extended the lead to 9 points at 38-29.
After the timeout, the Grizzlies continued their run, utilizing transition opportunities to extend the lead out to as many as 22 points which was the halftime lead at 65-43. The Grizzlies scored 43 points in the second quarter.
Jaren Jackson Jr. lead the way with 18 points and 7 rebounds, Ja Morant scored 11 points, and both David Roddy and Ziaire Williams scored 8 points each.
The second half started differently than the 1st half started with both offenses clicking, especially Orlando or specifically Paolo Banchero. He scored 8 quick points to help Orlando cut the lead to 17 points at 70-53. An alley to Jaren Jackson Jr. and back-to-back And-1 plays from Ja Morant helped the Grizzlies extend the lead out to 25 points at 78-53.
Xavier Tillman brought great energy to help the Grizzlies maintain a 21-point lead throughout the third quarter. The Magic heated up towards the end of the 3rd and cut the lead to 12 points before Ja Morant ended the quarter with his 3rd And-1 to give the Grizzlies the 92-78 lead to end the 3rd period. Paolo Banchero scored 20 points in the third quarter to lead the Magic and Ja Morant scored 14 points.
The Grizzlies began the fourth quarter the way you would expect a team of their caliber to begin it. Jaren Jackson Jr. got busy in the paint and got help with a couple of threes from Ziaire Williams and Tyus Jones to extend the lead back to 21 points at 105-84.
Orlando kept making a push by forcing turnovers and making a barrage of threes to eventually cut the lead down to 6 points with 1:53 remaining at 120-114. Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. seemed to have an answer for every run the Magic made and the Grizzlies held off the late comeback attempt to a 123-115 victory.
Jaren Jackson Jr. scored a season-high 31 points and had a double-double with 10 rebounds. Ja Morant scored 32 points and Ziaire had his best game of the season from a scoring standpoint with 16 points off the bench.
The Grizzlies let their foot off the gas in the second half but prevailed with an important win on that road, as they now have a .500 road record at 10-10. The team made 12 threes and outrebounded the Magic by 10. A win is a win, and a five-game winning streak sounds good with 3 days’ rest until their next game against the Utah Jazz.