Morant has 32, Grizzlies use late burst to defeat Pelicans

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) drives against New Orleans Pelicans forward Trey Murphy...
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) drives against New Orleans Pelicans forward Trey Murphy III, left, and center Jaxson Hayes during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)(Nikki Boertman | AP)
Published: Dec. 31, 2022 at 10:12 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Ja Morant had 32 points and eight assists, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 17 points and six blocks, and the Memphis Grizzlies broke open the game in the fourth quarter for a 116-101 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.

Desmond Bane finished with 18 points and Steven Adams had 10 points and a season-high 21 rebounds as the Grizzlies won their second straight.

Zion Williamson scored 20 points for the Pelicans, while Trey Murphy III added 15. CJ McCollum, who scored 42 points and made a franchise-record 11 3-pointers in Friday’s win over Philadelphia, had 10 points and was 1 of 7 from outside the arc.

New Orleans entered the game tied with Denver for the top spot in the Western Conference, while Memphis was 1 1/2 games behind in third place.

The game remained close until Memphis opened the fourth quarter with seven straight points for a double-digit advantage. The Grizzlies would eventually build the lead to 20 as Brandon Clarke and Jackson scored inside.

Despite a rough-shooting first half and foul trouble for Williamson, the Pelicans were able to keep things close and trailed 53-50 at the break. Neither team would take their lead to double digits after the early stages of the second quarter.

Memphis led 83-79 after three quarters.

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