MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Early this season, the younger Memphis Grizzlies have been nonetheless studying how you can shut out video games — a shortfall the crew has overcome throughout its longest successful streak in additional than three years.
The Grizzlies outscored the Houston Rockets 36-27 within the fourth quarter Tuesday evening as Memphis pulled away for a 121-110 victory, stretching the Grizzlies’ successful streak to 6 video games — their longest since December 2016.
Rookie guard Ja Morant had 26 factors and eight assists, and Dillon Brooks scored 24 to guide Memphis. Jonas Valanciunas added 19 factors and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 15 regardless of going 6 of 16 from the ground.
Morant missed solely one in every of his 11 pictures, changing into the primary rookie in NBA historical past to attain not less than 25 factors whereas handing out eight or extra assists and taking pictures 90% or higher from the sphere.
“Early on, we might get stagnant, and we’d run the identical factor again and again,” Brooks mentioned of the crew’s fourth-quarter issues earlier within the season. “Now, we’re getting extra variety with Ja attending to the center and making nice performs and nice choices.”
Brooks additionally was accountable for guarding Rockets star James Harden, the NBA’s main scorer. Harden maybe had extra scoring duties in opposition to Memphis as backcourt mate Russell Westbrook sat out to relaxation on the opening evening of a back-to-back. Harden scored 41 factors, his fifth straight recreation in opposition to the Grizzlies surpassing 40. However he shot 13 of 37, together with 5 of 19 from Three-point vary.
That included lacking all seven pictures within the fourth quarter as Memphis pulled away within the last eight minutes.
“There have been little issues,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni mentioned. “Most significantly, we couldn’t preserve the Grizzlies in entrance of us. They completed very nicely on the rim on lots of fast-break possessions. … We didn’t do sufficient to cease them.”
Eric Gordon completed with 23 factors for Houston, and Clint Capela had 16 factors and 16 rebounds.
Capela mentioned in video games the Rockets have misplaced “ending defensively, we weren’t adequate. Our objective is all the time to maintain the crew below 100 factors, which didn’t occur.”
The groups have been tied at 95 with about eight minutes left when the Grizzlies went on an 11-1 run fueled by Three-pointers from Solomon Hill, Brooks and Morant. That gave Memphis a 106-96 lead with 5 minutes remaining.
The win left the Grizzlies clinging to eighth place within the Western Convention, a half-game forward of the idle San Antonio Spurs.
“Each recreation is a press release recreation at this level,” Jackson mentioned, “since you are enjoying for seeding, enjoying for the playoffs. Everyone is attempting to work in the direction of that, however undoubtedly, if you’re on a successful streak, it offers you a bit extra power.”
Rockets: Westbrook additionally sat out Houston’s earlier recreation at Memphis on Nov. four, which was the second of a back-to-back. … With Westbrook out, Austin Rivers began at guard alongside Harden. Rivers was given the nod over Gordon. “Somebody has to chase Morant round, and I need Austin to try this,” D’Antoni mentioned earlier than the sport. “Assist save Eric’s legs slightly bit.” … Capela has not less than 10 rebounds in 25 of the previous 26 video games. … The loss left D’Antoni one win wanting 200 as coach of the Rockets. … It was solely the second time Houston has misplaced in 16 video games when Harden scored not less than 40 factors this season.
Grizzlies: F Jae Crowder sat out with proper hip soreness. Kyle Anderson began in his place, his third begin of the season. … Jackson has 13 straight video games with a number of Three-pointers, tying Mike Miller for the franchise file. … Memphis has scored not less than 110 factors in 12 consecutive video games, the longest lively streak within the NBA.
GORDON MAKING PROGRESS
Gordon’s 23 factors have been a season excessive after the Rockets guard missed 22 video games following proper knee arthroscopy. He additionally sat out final Thursday’s loss at Oklahoma Metropolis with proper knee soreness.
“It’s coming collectively,” Gordon mentioned. “I need to proceed to get higher and higher. … It’s going to take a while. I’m getting higher, the knee is getting higher and I simply must get in some higher form.”
Rockets: Open a four-game homestand in opposition to Portland on Wednesday.
Grizzlies: Host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.
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