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Grizzlies rout Pacers to win 9th straight

Jan 14, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12)  shoots the ball while Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard (2) defends in the first quarter at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Desmond Bane scored 25 points, Ja Morant added 23 points and 10 assists and the Memphis Grizzlies extended their winning streak to a season-high nine games with a 130-112 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday in Indianapolis.

Santi Aldama had 17 points, Ziaire Williams scored 13 and Steven Adams had 10 points and nine rebounds for Memphis, which led by as many as 34 and shot 55.2 percent from the field. Brandon Clarke scored 11 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. tallied nine points and 10 rebounds.

Chris Duarte scored 25 points to lead Indiana, while Bennedict Mathurin added 16, T.J. McConnell had 13 points and 11 assists and Isaiah Jackson chipped in 12 points. Indiana lost its third straight while shooting 36.9 percent from the field and 11 of 47 (23.4 percent) from 3-point range.

Memphis improved to a season-high 16 games over .500 after taking control midway through the second quarter. Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with two blocks, extending his streak with multiple blocks to a franchise-record 13 games.

Morant, who has averaged 30.5 points in his last six games, electrified the road crowd with a thunderous dunk midway through the third quarter that put the Grizzlies ahead 87-67.

Morant scored 10 points in the third to give Memphis a 97-79 advantage heading into the final frame, and Indiana was unable to pull within striking distance from there.

Bane made a triumphant return to his home state, shooting 10 of 19 from the field, including 5 of 11 from 3-point range.

Indiana, which played without injured starters Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner, trailed 36-28 before opening the second quarter on a 12-2 run.

The game was tied at 41 with 9:11 left in the first half before Jaren Jackson Jr.’s layup sparked the Grizzlies’ 13-2 run.

Memphis took a 68-52 lead into the half after shooting 53.1 percent from the field and holding Indiana to 32.7 percent.

Morant, Bane and Williams combined for 36 points in the half for the Grizzlies, who have won a season-high four consecutive road games.

Indiana forward Aaron Nesmith played after sitting out the past two games due to a non-COVID illness and had six points and seven rebounds.

–Field Level Media