NBA: Surging Grizzlies hand Pistons sixth straight loss
Ja Morant had 23 points and six assists, Desmond Bane supplied 22 points and the visiting Memphis Grizzlies rolled past the slumping Detroit Pistons 132-107 on Thursday.
Memphis has won four straight and seven of its last eight games. Detroit has lost six straight and 10 of its last 11 outings.
Steven Adams racked up 16 points, 14 rebounds and five assists in a game Memphis never trailed. Brandon Clarke had 14 points and nine rebounds,
De’Anthony Melton also scored 14 and Kyle Anderson added 13 points with 11 rebounds.
Jerami Grant led the Pistons with 20 points. Hamidou Diallo contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds, Saddiq Bey added 17 points with seven rebounds, Frank Jackson added 12 points and Isaiah Stewart chipped in 10.
Detroit rookie guard Cade Cunningham, the top pick in last year’s draft, missed his fifth straight game due to a right hip pointer.
The Grizzlies led 41-19 after the first quarter and 65-50 at halftime. Detroit was fortunate to be trailing by only 15, as Memphis led by 26 late in the half.
Bane scored 12 points prior to the break and Adams had 11.
Memphis finished the opening quarter on a 17-6 run sparked by its bench, capped by a Clarke dunk.
Melton’s 3-pointer with under two minutes to go in the half made it 65-40. Detroit scored the last 10 points of the half, including six from Diallo.
Morant drained a 3-pointer early in the second half to nudge Memphis’ lead to 16. Detroit then had an 8-2 spurt to pull within 10 at 70-60. Diallo and Bey had three points apiece in that span.
Detroit couldn’t get the deficit into single digits. A couple of Morant free throws gave Memphis an 87-71 advantage. A Clarke putback made it an 18-point spread.
Kelly Olynyk converted a three-point play in the final seconds of the quarter but the Grizzlies carried a 95-80 lead into the fourth.
Memphis opened the final quarter with a 9-2 run. Jaren Jackson made four free throws and an assist in that stretch and Clarke punctuated it with a dunk.