Grizzlies fall to Pelicans in season opener 111-104
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -The Grizzlies couldn’t overcome a poor shooting night, and the Beale Street Bears lost to the New Orleans Pelicans 111-104 to begin their season.
Playing without Ja Morant (suspension), Steven Adams (season-ending knee surgery), and Santi Aldama (sprained ankle), Memphis led after the first quarter, but allowed New Orleans to outscore them 32-19 in the second and never regained the lead again.
The Grizzlies shot just 12-43 (28%) from the three-point line in the game, compared to 14-32 (44%) for New Orleans. All five starters for New Orleans scored in double-figures, led by CJ McCollum with 24.
Desmond Bane led Memphis with 31 points, while Marcus Smart dropped 17 in his Grizzly debut. Xavier Tillman, the starting center in wake of the Adams injury, had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Memphis’ other star struggled though, as Jaren Jackson Jr. scored just eight points on 2-9 shooting. The defending Defensive Player of the Year did have five blocks on the evening.
Derrick Rose had eight points and three rebounds off the bench in his first game as a Grizzly.
The Grizzlies will try to rebound at home on Friday when they host the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets.
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