Ja Morant, Striped Grizzlies Attract Wretched Pistons

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January 4, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, United States; Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane (22) and guard Ja Morant (12) and Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones (21) celebrate in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The most prominent team in the NBA Western Conference can extend their winning streak against one of the worst clubs in the league.

Memphis has won six straight wins and will host the Detroit Pistons on Thursday. The Grizzlies have already claimed back-to-back road wins this week, beating Brooklyn 118-104 on Monday and Cleveland on Tuesday 110-106.

As usual, Ja Morant led the team in scoring in both games. He had 36 points against the Nets and 26 against the Cavaliers, although that ended his four-game 30-point streak.

Morant received a lot of help from the offensive end. Jaren Jackson Jr. hit the 20-point mark for the first time in five games against the Cavs.

“People like to beat Jaren a bit, but what people probably don’t understand is how good Jaren has been defensively for us this season,” said interim head coach Brad Jones, who has led the team with head coach Mark Daigneault in the league. hygiene and safety protocol.

“He’s had times and games of a great offensive outing and yet he’s kind of struggled offensively over the last week or so, hit or miss. But his defense was good and it was still good (Tuesday).

The second unit had three double-digit players, led by Brandon Clarke (13 points, nine rebounds, 3 blocks) and Tyus Jones (12 points).

“It’s tough to win back-to-back away games, especially against two good teams, unless there are bench players getting stronger,” Jones said. “Brandon and Tyus really changed the game for us. About three or four minutes into the third quarter I looked at our guys and they were knocked out. The assistants who were helping me said we had to replace earlier than usual. These guys came and really gave us a spark.

Morant’s long-distance partner Desmond Bane was limited to 11 points, his lowest production in eight games. Bane has helped in other ways including a career-high seven assists.

“He’s just a winner,” said Brad Jones. “He works at an incredible pace, an incredible care factor. The sky is the limit for this kid. He doesn’t care if he scores 30 or 2. “

However, Bane doubts playing Thursday due to quad pain. Dillon Brooks and De’Anthony Melton are listed as questionable after clearing protocols.

The Pistons had won two straight games before being blown up Wednesday by Charlotte, 140-111. The Hornets took a 37-19 lead and scored 75 points in the second half.

Detroit beat defending champion Milwaukee on the road Monday, but his defense allowed the Hornets to shoot 59.3 percent.

“We didn’t come out with the right attitude and the focus you need to have against a team that has just been beaten two games in a row,” said coach Dwane Casey. “Just because you beat the best team in the league doesn’t mean you’re jacked in this league, because the next night you have another gunslinger coming in.” Tonight, it was Kelly Oubre (32 points). “

Saddiq Bey and Hamidou Diallo, who carried the team offensively during its recent COVID outbreak, combined for just 20 points.

“You have to learn to compete every night and we haven’t done it tonight,” Casey said. “It should be a great lesson to beat your backlog like that after having a big win. “

– Media at field level

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