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Postgame Report: Grizzlies handle shorthanded Bulls in 119-106 win in 20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Game

Key Stat of the Night

  • Memphis outscored Chicago 38-27 in the second quarter. The Grizzlies shot 55.6% from
    the field (15-27 FG) and 58.3% from 3- point range (7-12 3P) and recorded 13 assists in
    the second period, their most in any quarter this season.
  • The Grizzlies outscored the Bulls 64-38 in the paint, including a 12-2 advantage in the
    second quarter.

Key Run of the Night

  • Memphis scored the final basket of the first quarter to tie the game at 20 and opened
    the second period with a 19-3 run to take a 39-23 advantage with 7:14 remaining in the
    first half. Desmond Bane scored 10 points during the sequence.

Game Recap

The Memphis Grizzlies handed the Chicago Bulls their fourth consecutive loss with a 119-106 victory in the 20th
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Game at FedExForum on Monday.

Six Grizzlies scored in double digits as the Grizzlies got back in the win column following its franchise-record
11-game winning streak that was ended on Jan. 14.

Desmond Bane’s scored 15 of his 25 points in the second quarter, helping launch a 19-3 start to
the second quarter that broke a 20-20 tie and put Memphis ahead for good. Ja Morant finished
with 25 points, four rebounds and three rebounds while Jaren Jackson Jr. had 14 points, five
rebounds and five blocks, notching his fifth game of the season with at least five rejections.

Brandon Clarke turned in 15 points and seven rebounds and Tyus Jones had 11
points and eight assists off the bench. De’Anthony Melton scored 10 points with four rebounds, helping the
Grizzlies’ reserves outscore the Bulls’ bench 42-28.

DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 24 points and five assists while Ayo
Dosunmu
recorded his second consecutive double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to go with six
assists and a career-high five steals. Coby White scored 16 points with six rebounds and five
assists.

After a slow first half, the Grizzlies put the foot on the gas with a 23-9 run with Bane scoring 15 of the
Grizzlies’ 38 points in the second quarter. It was the highest-scoring quarter of Bane’s career. The Grizzlies
scored 12 points in the paint while holding the Bulls to 0-for-8 shooting inside during the second period. Bane
entered halftime with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

The Grizzlies added to their lead with 21-8 burst in the third quarter and weathered a few late pushes from the
Bulls to grab a win a move to 31-15 on the season. Memphis outscored Chicago 64-38 in the paint, forced 18
turnovers and outscored the Bulls 26-9 on fast break points. The Grizzlies finished with 14 steals and seven
blocks.

Next Game

The Grizzlies hit the road for the first game of their season-high tying four-game road trip against the
Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. CT. Fans can watch on Bally Sports Southeast and listen on ESPN
92.9 FM.

Team Quotes

On team’s energy today versus last game:

“It was a different kind of energy tonight, for sure. I felt that our guys came
out ready. We kept this team to 20 points in the first quarter. Outside of the last quarter where
they scored 34 points, I thought we did a really good job defensively. That gave us a lot of
opportunities in transition. To be honest with you, I thought we were supposed to score even more.
We missed a couple of chip-ins and a couple of looks that they usually make. Overall, I think their
energy level was pretty good.”

Darko Rajaković

On Steven Adams going against other centers:

“Steven Adams is a seasoned vet. He knows this league inside and out. He’s
played against the best players in that position for years now. He’s just logged in on the defensive
game plan and he knows the tendencies of those players. He brings a lot of physicality. With some
other guys, we might need to double team or do some different schemes. Most times, we just trust him
to do the job on his own in post-ups or even the pick and rolls.”

Darko Rajaković

On Jaren Jackson Jr.’s defense:

“He had five blocks and five rebounds, but also two personal fouls. He’s doing a
much better job of timing it and meeting the players that he’s guarding at the rim opposed to trying
to pick up cheap fouls—that means a lot. It gives us a lot of energy. It allows us to run in
transition. Just getting a player with that kind of ability to play that position, forward, and
still do that, for us, it’s tremendous.”

Darko Rajaković

On Steven Adams picking up Tony Bradley:

“In the middle of the game, I didn’t see what happened there, but I saw it on
film. He just tried to protect his teammate. It’s a natural instinct. This group is very tight, they
love each other and they’re going to go to war for each other. They should be ready for that if they
try to pull something like that on Ja (Morant).”

Darko Rajaković

On the message after first quarter:

“I just told the guys to stay with what they were doing. They were getting
stops. In the first quarter, we were getting out in transitions, missing layups, missing open shots.
We played good basketball, it’s just the ball didn’t go through the net. I kept telling our guys to
keep playing defense and stay with what we were doing. The ball is going to fall down, we’re going
to make our shots. Luckily, that happened later in the game.”

Darko Rajaković

On defensive plays:

“I read what is going on. There is no way for me to figure it out; it is kind of
on the fly. Everything happens so fast. Chase downs are self-explanatory. You have to get your steps
right at half court and trust that the guard doesn’t foul - everything else is about timing and
making sure you are ready to go.”

Jaren Jackson Jr.

On Bulls players’ frustration:

“I didn’t really check on them, but I can imagine it was pretty tough. I am glad
I’m not going against me.”

Jaren Jackson Jr.

On Steven Adams carrying Tony Bradley:

“I have been seeing that for years. Back in the day - I used to like the
Thunder. When I was younger, I came up on that team. He was on that team and he would always do that
carry - then he did it to me. I was so mad, but he did it being funny. I saw him do it out there,
but he meant it out there. I tried and was successful too, but it probably didn’t mean as much.”
Jaren Jackson Jr.

On MLK day games:

“It never gets old. It is something that is a staple in our city. It means a lot
to everyone here in the community. You can feel it in the atmosphere. It’s also cool that everybody
gets a day off and it feels a little more special. People work hard around here. We play hard every
night, but it is important to make sure that you go out and know who you are representing when you
are out there. We always love to play on this day. I hope we always keep it here.”

Jaren Jackson Jr.

On being picked up by Steven Adams:

“It feels like you age backwards. It feels like you are about seven and you
can’t believe he is picking you up. You try to fight it, but you are off the ground, so you can’t do
anything. You feel helpless a little bit. That’s probably what he felt - credit to him for making
him feel like that.”

Jaren Jackson Jr.

On being on national TV:

“It is cool. My grandma can see the game - and people that don’t have league
passes can see us playing. They can see us play hard, and if they haven’t been paying attention all
year, they can tune-in to us. That’s really cool. Everyone on the team has cousins in weird pockets
of the world. They can’t always see the games, so to have that. It is really cool. We don’t have
that all of the time.”

Jaren Jackson Jr.

On DeMar DeRozan:

“He is a great player. You have to take on the challenge and be ready to move
your feet. You do whatever you can. That is a thing that happens in the league a lot, because people
try to switch, just so they can stay in front of the ball. If you do that, you have to be ready. I
am always ready for that if they need me.”

Jaren Jackson Jr.

On receiving NBA Cares award:

“I didn’t even know there was an award for that, monthly. It’s funny, all the
stuff they included for what I have been doing. It’s been going on for years. You look back and see
all the pictures and videos of me with low hair. It’s been a while. It’s just something that comes
naturally to me. I am always very involved in the community as much as I can be. On the other hand,
people who are struggling financially or with food, I make sure that I make that a priority. It’s
dont even need an award for it, but I’ll take it.”

Jaren Jackson Jr.

On Tony Bradley:

“He tried to trip me. That is not a basketball play, so I reacted. He was
grabbing my jersey and I told him to get off me. He was still grabbing my jersey. I don’t do any
pushing or shoving. Whatever else happened after that - happened.”

Ja Morant

On Jaren Jackson:

“He is big time. His protection allows us to get out there and run, but also
stops the other team from scoring. Even if he doesn’t block the shot, he is still affecting the
shot, and forcing guys to take tough shots down there. That works in our favor and allows us to
rebound. Normally with a guy like Jaren defending the basket, he is normally in that trail spot.
Which is tough.”

Ja Morant

On importance of tonight’s win:

“It was big time for us, especially after coming off a loss. We had to turn the
page and get back in the column we want to be in, which is the winning column. It’s big time. We
have to take this momentum and energy on the road. It’s a big road trip for us and we definitely
needed this win.”

Ja Morant

On 360 layup:

“Honestly, once I split the defense I wanted to rip the rim off, after what
happened. The defense came over and it was just a reaction. I was going to power up for a dunk and I
saw them. Most of the time in the situation, if you don’t finish a dunk it’s going to be a charge. I
just reacted and spun off into a layup.”

Ja Morant

Team Notables

  • The Grizzlies hosted the 20th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Game, matching up with the Bulls
    for the fifth time in the history of the event and first time since 2017. Memphis is now 3-2 against Chicago
    in the MLK series.
  • Before the game, the team honored former NBA greats Elvin Hayes, Allan Houston and Muggsy Bogues as
    recipients of the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Awards.
  • Memphis has won 22 of its last 27 games, including 12 of its last 13, and closed its four-game home stand
    with a victory after the Dallas Mavericks snapped the Grizzlies’ franchise-record 11-game winning streak on
    Jan. 14. The Grizzlies have defeated the Suns, Warriors, Nets, Heat, Mavericks, Lakers (twice), Clippers,
    76ers, Raptors, Timberwolves and now the Bulls (who entered as the top team in the Eastern Conference)
    during this stretch.
  • Memphis’ bench outscored Chicago’s second unit 42-28.
  • The Grizzlies had 21 “stocks” tonight, 14 steals and seven blocks. Memphis’ 27-game streak with 10+ stocks
    is the longest active streak in the NBA.
  • Chicago suffered its season-low fourth straight loss after the Bulls had won 14 of their previous 17.
  • The Grizzlies recorded their seventh non-conference victory this season, the most in the NBA.
  • Memphis embarks on a four-game road trip from Jan. 19-26, tying its longest road trip of the season, and the
    team will play 10 of its next 13 on the road. The Grizzlies have won 12 of their last 13 road games and are
    14-6 this season away from home.

Player Notables

  • Desmond Bane scored 25 points. Bane scored 15 points in the second quarter, the
    highest-scoring quarter of his NBA career. Memphis improved to 16-3 this season when Bane scores 20+ points.
  • Ja Morant tallied 25 points, his 17th game with 25+ points in 33 appearances this season.
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. totaled 14 points and five blocks. It marked Jackson Jr.’s ninth career
    game with 5+ blocks, fourth in franchise history. Jackson Jr. leads the NBA in blocks per game in January
    (3.89).
  • Brandon Clarke added 15 points off the bench, his ninth consecutive game scoring in double
    figures from the second unit.
  • Steven Adams registered 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals a block.
  • DeMar DeRozan led Chicago with 24 points (10-24 FG).
  • Ayo Dosunmu posted 15 points and led the Bulls with 10 rebounds, six assists and five
    steals. It marked Dosunmu’s second consecutive double-double after he recorded his first career
    double-double in his previous outing on Jan. 15 at Boston.
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