Morant, Grizzlies overpower Hornets for 4th straight win

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball guards Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) as he drives...
Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball guards Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) as he drives to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Scott Kinser)(Scott Kinser | AP)
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 9:26 PM CST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ja Morant had 23 points and eight assists, Desmond Bane added 19 points and 10 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Charlotte Hornets 131-107 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.

Dillon Brooks scored 18 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Grizzlies. Steven Adams had 15 rebounds for Memphis, which improved to 9-10 on the road.

LaMelo Ball had 23 points and 12 assists and Terry Rozier added 21 points for the Hornets, who’ve lost 14 of 17 games.

The Hornets were outmatched from the start.

The Grizzlies jumped out to a 40-26 in the first quarter behind Morant, who set the tone with 12 points and four assists. The Grizzlies didn’t let up as Morant took a seat on the bench to start the second quarter, opening with a 20-9 run and eventually pushing the lead to 29 at the half.

Morant had no problem slicing his way through Charlotte’s defense. And when he missed, it seemed Adams or Jackson was there to grab the offensive rebound for a put-back.

The Grizzlies dominated the Hornets on the glass 59-44 and outscored them 64-52 in the paint.

Morant didn’t play in the fourth quarter after the Grizzlies stretched the lead to 37.

The frustration was evident for the Hornets with Ball, Dennis Smith Jr. and Jalen McDaniels picking up technical fouls.

TIP-INS

Grizzlies: Attempted 28 free throws in the first half, 20 more than the Hornets. ... Played without Brandon Clarke (hip) and Ziaire Williams (knee).

Hornets: Cody Martin returned after missing 37 games with a left knee injury. Martin was injured in the team’s season opener and hadn’t played since. ... Jalen McDaniels got the start at small forward with Gordon Hayward (hamstring) and Kelly Oubre (hand) out.

UP NEXT

Grizzlies: At Orlando on Thursday night.

Hornets: Open a four-game trip at Milwaukee on Friday night.

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