The Memphis Grizzlies (21-14) visited Barclays Center on Monday night to defeat the Brooklyn Nets (23-12) by 14 points. Ja Morant had a game-high 36 points, adding six rebounds and eight assists with only three turnovers.
Morant became the first player in franchise history to score 30+ points in four straight games, including a 41-point effort to beat the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. He’ll hope to extend the record on Tuesday as Grizzlies visit the Cleveland Cavaliers for their second game of a back-to-back.
He missed out on some extra rest as head coach Taylor Jenkins checked Morant back in the game after the Nets bench nearly completed a herculean comeback. Fortunately for Memphis, Morant and Desmond Bane managed to seal the victory down the stretch.
Less than three minutes into the fourth quarter, Steve Nash seemingly waved the white flag as the Grizzlies lead balloned to over 20. Nash sat Kevin Durant, James Harden, and the rest of his starters, clearing the bench to give the young guys some playing time.
With Morant and Steven Adams also resting for Memphis, the young Nets players cut the lead down to 10, and Nash never put his starters back on the floor when Morant returned from the sideline to seal the win. Bane was a huge contributing factor in this win for Memphis, scoring 29 points and grabbing eight boards.
Durant struggles shooting as Irving’s return looms
Durant had a team-high 26 points in 31 minutes, but scored just 8 of his 24 field goal attempts. He added just three rebounds and six assists, but did have an impressive three steals and three blocks.
Harden wasn’t much better than his teammate, shooting 14 times for only 5 makes, tallying 19 points, four rebounds, and eight assists. Nets will be happy to get Kyrie Irving back as they visit the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.