Thursday, December 12, 2019

Grizzlies Shade Suns in Phoenix

Posted By on Thu, Dec 12, 2019 at 9:51 AM

A resilient Grizzlies team went into Phoenix on Wednesday night and came away with its second consecutive road victory, beating the Suns 115-108. The team hadn't won consecutive games in almost a month. 

click to enlarge Ja Morant posterizes Aron Baynes. (see video below) - SCREEN SHOT
  • Screen shot
  • Ja Morant posterizes Aron Baynes. (see video below)

Dillon Brooks and Jaren Jackson, Jr. led the Grizzlies, who ended a 10-day road trip with the win. The Grizzlies (8-16) are now three games behind the Suns (11-13) for the eight spot in the Western Conference.

Brooks went 10-of-18 from the stripe, finishing with a game-high 27 points, plus two steals. Memphis is 6-0 this season when Brooks scores 20 or more points.

After the game, Brooks said, “We were taking it personally. They beat us at our house and we wanted to beat them in their crib and we were just guarding our ass off. We made the necessary plays. We went to the line and shot free throws and we didn’t back down. We guarded and rebounded.”

Jaren Jackson, Jr. added 24 points, six rebounds, and four assists, including 10-of-18 from the field, with three three-pointers and several strong finishes in the paint. Like the one below.

De’Anthony Melton, who came into his own after Morant missed four games due to back soreness, continued to make good use of his extended playing time off the bench. He finished the night with nine points, six rebounds, and a +22 in 19 minutes of play. 


Brandon Clarke returned to action after a four-game absence due to a sore left oblique. He led the bench unit with 15 points, seven rebounds, and two blocked shots in 22 minutes of action. Clarke still continues to be incredibly efficient, going 5-of-6 on the night, with 2-of-2 from three. Grizzlies fans should expect more from the Melton and Clarke duo. 


In 32 minutes, Jae Crowder stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals

Frank Kaminsky led the Suns with 24 points (season-high) and five rebounds while Ricky Rubio added 22 points and a game-high eight assists.


HOLY SH*T JA MORANT
Ja Morant has become a human highlight reel in his young NBA career. Mr. Fourth Quarter has had mind-blowing, jaw-dropping plays in nearly every game he has played this season. And Wednesday night in Phoenix was no exception.

Morant posterized Aron Baynes with a vicious dunk that brought #NBATwitter to life. It was the second time Morant has posterized Baynes. There aren't enough superlatives to describe this nasty dunk.

Morant talked about the dunk after the game. He said, “That’s my game — I’m going to try to finish every time. The first time was an and-1, the second one was a dunk." He says it felt good. See it below.

Morant added, "I feel like everybody knows that’s my game. To go to the rack with force and try to finish the play aggressive, and I was able to get one tonight. They (the bench) was just laughing, (saying) "It took you two months to get one." They were just excited and it just shows the type of team we have."

Brooks was ecstatic about the dunk. “Oh my gosh, I was screaming, Brooks proclaimed. “That’s how electric he (Morant) is — he’s a special player. If he’s having a tough game or whatever he finds a way to electrify the game to put us over the top.”


Morant finished the game with 13 points, nine of which were scored in the final period with the game on the line. 


What They Said!!
Taylor Jenkins, Grizzlies Head Coach
On the game:

“Unbelievable effort by our guys tonight, two nights in a row. You could maybe chalk this up to being another complete game for us. The Suns went out and got a couple early runs on us; we were a little too casual. But when we locked in, our guys were really good defensively. A team that’s been killing it on the boards and second-chance points, we just outrebounded them with all their crashers and athletic guys going in there. That was huge for us. Great job."

Jenkins continued: "Multiple guys guarded Devin Booker; Kaminsky got hot early, but we changed up some matchups and some coverages and I thought our guys handled that great. Offensively, as we have been talking about all season long, when teams go on runs against us, continue to trust the offense. There were a couple of moments there when we forced some things, but the ball kept moving around, some big plays down the stretch.

"One sequence I have to mention: they have a fast break play; we have two guys go in and I think De’Anthony (Melton), Brandon (Clarke) block the shot, we go down to the other end, we get a tip-in off an offensive rebound. Plays like that. There’s more of them throughout the game, but that one sticks out. The bench was huge for us tonight. Just credit to our guys going out getting two big wins to finish this road trip. These games are always hard at the end of a road trip. Proud of our guys’ effort tonight.”


Up Next

The Grizzlies return home to Memphis to host Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night at FedExForum. Antetokounmpo missed Wednesday night's contest against the New Orleans Pelicans due to right quad tendon soreness. The Bucks extended their winning streak to 16 games against the Pelicans. It is unclear Antetokounmpo will be available to play in Friday's game. 

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