Ja Morant scored 28 of his 39 points in the third quarter and added 10 assists and 10 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies beat Los Angeles 121-109 on Tuesday night in the Lakers’ first game since LeBron James injured his right foot.
Morant made 10-of-12 shots in the quarter-hour with the most points in a Grizzlies player’s history.
“I just felt it,” Morant said. “I started the game and was able to keep it going and put us in a good position to win the game.”
Xavier Tillman scored 18 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis, while Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane each scored 16 points.
“Obviously, Ja had an outstanding third quarter,” said Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins. “He was just in attack mode.”
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) reacts during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers
Morant makes a fierce dunk as Lakers defensemen look on during a game in Memphis
The Lakers hit their season high with 26 losses while scoring 41 points in Memphis – a Grizzlies franchise record. Memphis also dominated the paint, beating Los Angeles 86-48 and adding 33 quick points.
“A lot of that was cause and effect of our spins,” said Los Angeles coach Darvin Ham, adding, “They just imposed their will on us in the paint.”
Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 28 points and 19 rebounds, while Lonnie Walker IV had 21 points. Austin Reaves had 17 points, matching his season-high with four 3-pointers.
“It was the turnover that killed us,” Davis said.
Morant’s outburst opened up an even game and gave the Grizzlies a 93-84 lead in the fourth. He only made three of 14 attempts in the first half. He had 12 of 15 in the last two quarters.
“I wouldn’t say it’s flipping a switch,” Morant said. “It’s just shots I missed in the first half, I hit in the second half.”
Memphis scored eight straight points and took the first double-digit lead of the game as Brandon Clarke dunked for the Lakers’ 22nd rotation with 9:14 remaining. The lead eventually reached 106-92 with about nine minutes left.
But using a 3-point shootout, the Lakers cut Memphis’ lead to 110-106 after Davis’ three-pointer. Memphis responded by extending the lead back to 118-106, which was enough for a second straight win.
Morant shoots during the victory over the Clippers at the FedEx Forum in Memphis
James’ injury in Sunday’s victory over Dallas left the Lakers without a leading scorer at 29.7 points per game. They don’t know how long he’ll be away from home.
Los Angeles shot 37 percent and Memphis 33 percent in the first half. The Grizzlies held a six-point lead, the biggest in the half for either team.
“At half-time, my teammates cheered me on all the time. Just tell me to keep going,” Morant said. “I told them I wouldn’t miss too many more.
DOLLARS 118, NETS 104
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and 15 rebounds as Milwaukee defeated Brooklyn for their 15th consecutive win.
Jrue Holiday had 14 points and 8 assists for the Bucks, who won 10-0 in February and overtook Boston for the NBA’s best tally. They regained Antetokounmpo after he missed Sunday’s home win over Phoenix due to a bruised right quadriceps.
Michal Bridges led Brooklyn with 31 points. Spencer Dinwiddie had 26 points and 8 assists.
Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) celebrates with his teammates as they are changed
OSTROGI 102, JAZZ 94
Keldon Johnson scored 23 points as San Antonio defeated Utah to snap a 16-game losing streak.
Doug McDermott added 19 points for the Spurs, Jeremy Sochan had 13 and Devonte Graham had 12. San Antonio improved to 15-47 for the first time this season after losing early in the fourth quarter.
Lauri Markkanen had 28 points and nine rebounds for Utah.
San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson (3) shoots over Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler
NUGGETS 133, ROCKETS 112
Nikola Jokic scored his 100th career triple-double, while Jamal Murray scored 32 points in Denver’s victory over Houston.
Jokic had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his 24th NBA triple-double this season and 15th in the last 20 games.
Michael Porter Jr. he added 17 points and Bruce Brown 15 off the bench, helping the Nuggets to a second straight win and sixth in their last seven games.
Jalen Green and Tari Eason both scored 17 points for Houston. The Rockets lost their 10th in a row.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (right) shoots Houston Rockets center Alperen Sengun
PACERS 124, MAVERICKS 122
Tyrese Haliburton scored 32 points and won the birthday boys’ duel with Luka Doncic, leading Indiana ahead of Dallas.
Doncic had 39 points and nine rebounds on his 24th birthday but fell to 1-4 in games against Kyrie Irving as the superstars were paired in a Brooklyn deal before the trade deadline.
Irving scored 16 points, but his three-pointer just before the buzzer was the last of five misses in the final two minutes, with Dallas trailing by two.
Haliburton, 23, born February 29, 2000, had 9-of-18 field goals and 12-of-15 free throws, plus seven rebounds and six assists.
Tyrese Haliburton of the Pacers heads to the basket against Justin Holiday of the Mavericks
Czarodzieje 119, Hawks 116
Washington spoiled Quin Snyder’s Atlanta coaching debut with 37 points from Bradley Beal and 28 from Kyle Kuzma in a victory over the Hawks.
Trae Young led Atlanta with 31 points.
Snyder spent eight seasons as Utah’s head coach before resigning last June after the Jazz were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
Snyder, 56, says he quit coaching to spend more time with his family, but the chance to manage the talented but enigmatic Hawks lured him back to the field sooner than he expected.
Wizards make sure Bradley Beal (3) gestures towards the Atlanta Hawks bench after taking a shot
KRÓLÓW 123, GRZMOT 117
Harrison Barnes scored 29 points as Sacramento defeated Oklahoma City for the fourth straight season.
Domantas Sabonis had 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, while Kevin Huerter added 20 points for the Kings. They also defeated the Thunder on Sunday night.
Thunder rookie Jalen Williams set a season high with 27 points. Dario Saric, the Thunder’s backup striker/center, was traded to Phoenix before the All-Star break, and scored 21 points for the season. But Oklahoma City shot just 43.9 percent in their fourth straight loss.
Kings Harrison Barnes (40) going against Oklahoma City Thunder Kenrich Williams (34)
RAPTORS 104, BULLS 98
Pascal Siakam scored 20 points, Gary Trent Jr. he was 19, and Toronto defeated Chicago for their eighth victory in 10 games.
OG Anunoby added 17 points and Jakob Poeltl had 14, which helped the Raptors win a fourth straight home win.
Nikola Vucevic led Chicago with 23 points and Zach LaVine had 17. DeMar DeRozan scored 13 points against his former team.
Pascal Siakam #43 of the Raptors shoots the ball during a game against the Chicago Bulls
WARRIORS 123, WORKERS 105
Jordan Poole had 29 points, six assists and five rebounds, Klay Thompson had 23 points as the Golden State Warriors defeated Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers 123-105 on Tuesday night.
Lillard had 25 points and seven assists to repeat his franchise record and career-best 71-point masterpiece against the Rockets on Sunday night, when his 13 3-pointers were one short of Thompson’s NBA record.
Lillard was called off for three quick fouls after the break, and Portland unsuccessfully challenged a fourth personal one.
The Warriors seized every opportunity during the crucial 39-point third quarter, taking the lead for good with Thompson’s three-pointer with 1:46 left in the period en route to a fourth consecutive home win and eight of nine.
Poole’s 6:14 jump to play in the third inning gave Golden State a 74–67 score, then Thompson’s 4:59 jump secured a two-point game as Golden State came back from a 23rd loss in a 125–122 loss in Portland on February 8.
Jordan Poole (#3) of the Warriors tries to pass the ball during a game against the Trail Blazers
TIMBERWOLVES 108, CLIPPERS 101
Jaden McDaniels scored 20 points, Anthony Edwards added 18, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Los Angeles Clippers 108-101 on Tuesday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
McDaniels scored at least 20 points for the fourth time this season.
Paul George had 25 points and Kawhi Leonard had 23 for the Clippers, who lost three in a row. Los Angeles’ last two defeats before Tuesday were in overtime, including a 176-175 loss in double overtime on Friday night to Sacramento in the second highest-scoring game in NBA history.
Jaden McDaniels of the Timberwolves dribbles during a game against the Clippers