NBA: Morant, Grizzlies post wire-to-wire win over Pelicans | Inquirer Sports
NBA

NBA: Morant, Grizzlies post wire-to-wire win over Pelicans

/ 12:53 PM March 09, 2022
Ja Morant Grizzlies

Ziaire Williams #8 and Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies celebrate against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on January 31, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP

Ja Morant scored 24 points and the host Memphis Grizzlies dominated from start to finish in a 132-111 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.

Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 22 points each, Ziaire Williams added 16, De’Anthony Melton had 14 and Brandon Clarke 12 for the Grizzlies, who scored a season-high 44 points in the first quarter and kept rolling.

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Memphis scored the game’s first five points and never trailed en route to its 10th win in 14 games.

CJ McCollum had 32 points and 11 assists to lead the Pelicans in the absence of Brandon Ingram, who was sidelined by a sore hamstring. Willy Hernangomez scored 17, Naji Marshall added 16, Devonte’ Graham had 12, and Herbert Jones and Jonas Valanciunas had 10 each.

Morant and Jackson scored five points each as the Grizzlies began the third quarter with a 16-7 run that gave them a 93-65 lead.

Another basket by Jackson pushed the margin to 30 as Memphis surpassed 100 points with 5:30 left in the third quarter.

The Grizzlies held a 112-84 edge at the end of the third quarter and led by as many as 36 points in the fourth quarter.

The Pelicans fell into a deep hole in the first quarter for the second consecutive game.

After trailing by 21 before coming back in an overtime loss at Denver on Sunday, New Orleans saw Memphis race to a 29-9 advantage in less than six minutes.

McCollum led a comeback, scoring 16 points as the Pelicans got as close as six before the Grizzlies took a 44-34 lead at the end of the opening period.

Memphis shot 64 percent from the floor (16 of 25), including 58.3 percent on 3-point attempts (7 of 12), in the opening 12 minutes.

McCollum twice made baskets to pull New Orleans within six points early in the second quarter, but the Grizzlies kept scoring in bunches.

New Orleans extended the lead to 74-54 on a Tyus Jones basket before McCollum scored the Pelicans’ final four points before the break. McCollum finished the half with 25 points, but Memphis held a 77-58 halftime lead.

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