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Grizzlies defeat Rockets in 2014 Summer League
By Bennett Hipp
Entering Thursday night's Orlando Pro Summer League game against the Houston Rockets, Memphis needed to earn six points in the standings to clinch an outright spot in Friday's Championship Game.
The Grizzlies did that and more, topping Houston 88-74 and winning three of the four individual quarters in the process to earn seven points and a Championship Game berth against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Memphis was led by a pair of young guards in 2014 first round pick Jordan Adams and 2013 second round pick Jamaal Franklin, who helped the Grizzlies pull away late to secure the win. Leading by just three (73-70) with less than five minutes remaining in the game, Memphis closed strong by finishing on a 15-4 run.
Adams, who entered as the Grizzlies' leading scorer in Summer League, dropped in a team-high 19 points (7-of-12 FG) along with three rebounds, three steals and a 4-of-5 mark from the free throw line. Through four games, Adams has drained 21 of his 22 free throw attempts.
Franklin broke out for 17 points (5-of-9 FG) and six rebounds, showing the Memphis coaches a glimpse of what they expected to see from him entering the Orlando Summer League. He also had the play of the game, taking a tip pass off a steal from Adams at half court in for a huge reverse windmill slam late in the fourth quarter.
In addition to Adams and Franklin, Memphis also received strong performances from Jack Cooley (15 points, six rebounds) and Jarnell Stokes (12 points, seven rebounds, two steals). Thanks in part to those two inside, the Grizzlies owned the glass, outrebounding the Rockets by 13 (39-26) and hauling in 12 offensive boards.
Rockets 2014 second round pick Nick Johnson stole the show for Houston, pouring in a game-high 22 points (9-of-14 FG), six rebounds and six assists while Maarty Leunen (15 points, three assists), Tarik Black (11 points, five rebounds) and Miro Bilan (10 points) all also reached double figures.
Memphis will play for the Orlando Pro Summer League Championship against 2013 first round pick Nerlens Noel and the Philadelphia 76ers Friday morning at 11 a.m. CT on NBA-TV and NBA.com. Full schedule and more coverage...