NBA: Ja Morant gets triple-double as Grizzlies throttle Bucks | Inquirer Sports

NBA: Ja Morant gets triple-double as Grizzlies throttle Bucks

, / 02:29 PM December 16, 2022

Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at FedExForum on December 07, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee.

FILE–Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies. Justin Ford/Getty Images/AFP

Behind a triple-double from Ja Morant, Memphis cruised to its seventh straight win with a dominating 142-101 home victory over Milwaukee on Thursday night.

In a game that saw the Grizzlies carry a 46-point lead into the fourth quarter and push the advantage to 50 a minute into the final period, Morant finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double of the season. He became the first player in franchise history to have a triple-double before the start of the fourth quarter.


Dillon Brooks added 18 points, four assists and three rebounds for the Grizzlies. Steven Adams was a force in the paint and tallied 10 points, six rebounds and five blocks. Jaren Jackson Jr. got in foul trouble and finished with four points and six boards.


Despite Morant’s stats, Memphis got contributions from all over in the blowout win. Tyus Jones (16 points), David Roddy (15 points), Brandon Clarke (12 points) and Ziaire Williams (11 points) and Santi Aldama (14 points) all came off the bench to score in double digits. Aldama scored all of his points in the second half, while the other four combined for 35 points in the first half.

“We were real locked in on the defensive end and that got us easy looks,” Morant said. “We were able to get out and run, get inside the paint and score there.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 19 points, six rebounds and five assists. Bobby Portis added 19 points and seven rebounds, while MarJon Beauchamp had 12 points off the bench.

“Pretty much just not leaving anybody on an island with Giannis and Middleton,” Morant said of the Memphis defensive scheme.

“We have somebody guarding them but it’s a team effort to slow those two guys down, try to force them into tough shots.


“After that it’s about rebounding and running. We excelled at that and it led to us getting out to a big lead early.”

But Brook Lopez tallied four points and three boards, Grayson Allen added four points and two rebounds, and Khris Middleton was held to just three points on 1-of-12 shooting from the field to account for Milwaukee’s other starters.

Memphis jumped out to a 9-2 lead to start the game after Morant connected on a 3-pointer with less than nine to play in the opening quarter. The Grizzlies’ lead ballooned to 18-8 on back-to-back buckets by Roddy with 5:12 to play in the first.

A 3-pointer by Jones and an and-one by Morant extended Memphis’ lead to 26-13 nine minutes into the game, before back-to-back buckets by Jones and Roddy gave the Grizzlies a 33-18 lead after one.

Midway through the second quarter, Memphis pushed its lead 46-25 behind another 3-pointer from Jones, his third in the first half, a Clark jumper and back-to-back layups by Brooks. A 10-5 run, sparked by Jones and Roddy, increased the home team’s lead to 56-30 with 4:53 to play in the second quarter. Back-to-back layups by Morant put Memphis up 70-41 at halftime.

Memphis continued its onslaught against the NBA’s best defensive team in the third quarter by outscoring Milwaukee 47-30, which all but ended any chance of a Bucks comeback.

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The Grizzlies improved to 19-9 while Milwaukee fell to 20-8 in the matchup of second-place clubs in the Eastern and Western conferences.

“Everybody is in their groove, everybody is in their rhythm and everybody is playing with confidence,” Morant said.

Field Level Media


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TAGS: Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA

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