Postgame Report: Grizzlies, Morant deliver in third quarter in 120-108 win over Clippers
Key Stat of the Night
- The Grizzlies scored a season-high 74 points in the paint, including 20 by Ja Morant, compared to 36 paint points for the Clippers. Memphis leads the NBA in points in the paint while Morant paces all players in the category.
Key Run of the Night
- Memphis led 83-80 with 3:24 left in the third quarter before a 9-0 extended the lead to 12 points with 1:19 left in the period. The Grizzlies held a nine-point advantage entering the fourth quarter and opened the final frame with a 20-6 run to take a 23-point lead (114-91) with 7:29 remaining.
Ja Morant scored 17 of his game-high 28 points in the third quarter as the Memphis Grizzlies moved one game above .500 in a 120-108 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at FedExForum.
Dillon Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr. both scored 18 points, while Desmond Bane added 16. Brandon Clarke scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter.
Paul George posted 23 points and six assists to lead the Clippers, who entered the game having won eight of their last nine. Reggie Jackson had 18 points, and Luke Kennard chipped in with 15 off the bench.
Memphis, which leads the NBA in points in the paint, scored a season-high 74 points inside. Morant, who leads all players in the category, totaled 20 paint points and shot 10-of-15 in the lane. The Clippers finished with just 36 points in the paint.
The Grizzlies scored 38 points and shot 72% in the third quarter to take a nine-point lead entering the fourth. Led by Morant and Clarke, Memphis continued attacking the basket and grew the lead to 23 points after starting the final frame on a 20-6 run.
Memphis’ 120 points tied the most scored against the Clippers, who entered with the league’s second-best defensive rating. The Grizzlies also scored 120 in a road win over Los Angeles on Oct. 23.
The Grizzlies will embark on a two-game road trip, starting Saturday, Nov. 20 against the Minnesota Timberwolves at 7 p.m. CT at Target Center. Fans can watch the game on Bally Sports South or tune-in to 92.9 FM ESPN.
On tonight’s performance:Definitely want our full effort for 48 minutes. Two games back-to-back in the second quarter was not great for us, but proud of how we came out in the first quarter. We had a lot of runs in tonight’s game and they just stayed with it. They hit some tough shots against us and we had our breakdowns here and there, but our guys talked during timeouts and made sure the bench knew what they needed to do and sticking with it. We got crucial shots in the third that just broke the game open. I was proud of the edge and effort we had to start the game and addressed what we needed to at the half and came out and played a really good game.
On fourth quarter run with Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke together:Those guys are very versatile. I love the activity that they play with and they have good athleticism defensively. Offensively, the way they run, Brandon Clarke crashing the boards and kicking ahead finishes, Jaren spaces the floor and drives, you don’t know who’s guarding them at times. I really like what they’re doing defensively in a lot of different coverages that we have. That’s big production when we combine the starters bench and having those guys find some chemistry is big for us.
On his defensive performance:It feels good. He (Paul George) still had a solid night. He went 9-for-18. That’s what MVPs do. I made his life challenging to get shots off.
On offensive sequence in second quarter and game slowing down:After that series against Utah, when I came back, the game had slowed down so much. I’m using my body a lot better coming off the screens. I’m used to the plays that we run. I know exactly where reads are, reads to see. When I broke my hand, I was doing the same drills with one hand trying to replicate it just to stay ready. It is going slow, and I am still getting used to Steve O (Steven Adams) really setting screens every single time, it’s a luxury to have. You see 12 (Ja Morant) doing the same thing- pull ups, finishing, guarding, really taking the next step in his long journey in this league.
On the little things in the game:Very important. 50-50 balls, being in the right rotations, being in the right spots, rebounding - pretty much things you got to do to win basketball games. I feel like we were really locked in on that. Win every 50-50 ball, and normally you come out with wins when you do that.
On the amount of work he puts in:It’s definitely what I’ve been working on. I put a lot of work in over the summer. Still do it on days we don’t have games, before and after practice. I work on it, so I feel like it shows when I play. I go into every shot very confident. My main motto is the ‘work’s going to show’. I put the work in each and every day. It’s just a lot of confidence. I really don’t care, make them miss. I just know when I shoot, I’m going to make it and if I miss the next shot is going in. Now I feel like it’s tougher for a defense to guard me when I can knock down the three, knock down the mid-range pull-up, get to my floater or get all the way to the rack. Whatever I do to make my job easier and make it tougher for the defense to guard me, helps our team and that’s what I’ve been working on.
- Memphis’ 120 points tied the most scored this season against the Clippers, who entered the game with the NBA’s second-best defense (100.8 points per 100 possessions). The Grizzlies also scored 120 points in an Oct. 23 road victory over the Clippers.
- The Grizzlies scored 38 points in the third quarter, shooting 72% from the field (18-25 FG). Memphis shot 16-of-19 from 2-point range and scored 30 points in the paint in the third period.
- Memphis matched its season high by shooting 54.2% from the field after shooting 54.2% in its previous game on Nov. 15 vs. Houston.
- The Grizzlies outscored the Clippers 23-11 in fast break points despite being shut out on the break in the first quarter.
- Los Angeles lost for just the second time in its last 10 games but has lost two of its last three following a seven-game winning streak.
- Memphis, which moved one game above .500, ended a span of eight-of-10 at home.
- Ja Morant, who entered as the league’s seventh-leading scorer, posted 28 points, five rebounds and five assists while shooting 13-of-21 from the field. Morant scored 17 points in the pivotal third period, the 10th time in his career he has scored at least 15 points in a single quarter.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. added 18 points, including three 3-pointers and a season-high tying four blocks. No player has more games with multiple 3s and multiple blocks this season than Jackson Jr. (8). Jackson Jr. is riding an eight-game streak with multiple rejections, a career high.
- Dillon Brooks scored 18 points and led the team with a +22 plus-minus after registering a career-best +31 on Nov. 15 vs. Houston. Brooks has scored 16+ points in all four games played this season.
- Brandon Clarke chipped in with 14 points (7-9 FG) in 15 minutes off the bench.