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Grizzlies rout short-handed Suns for 10th straight win

Jan 16, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) drives to the basket as Phoenix Suns forward Ish Wainright (12) defends during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant scored 29 points and Desmond Bane added 28 as the Memphis Grizzlies routed the visiting Phoenix Suns 136-106 on Monday to extend the NBA’s longest current winning streak to 10 games.

Jaren Jackson Jr. had 18 points, eight rebounds and six blocks, Brandon Clarke scored 13 points, and David Roddy and Tyus Jones added 10 apiece for Memphis, which outscored the Suns 68-41 in the second half.

The win moved Memphis into a tie with the Denver Nuggets atop the Western Conference standings.

Mikal Bridges tallied 21 points and seven assists to lead Phoenix, while Deandre Ayton added 18 points, Dario Saric had 12 and Saben Lee chipped in 10. The Suns have lost three straight and 12 of their last 14.

Memphis led by three at the half before overwhelming the Suns with a dominant third quarter. Morant’s three-point play put the Grizzlies ahead by 22 with 3:07 left in the period.

Morant has averaged 30.3 points over his last seven games for Memphis, which opened the fourth quarter on a 15-5 run to squelch the Suns’ comeback hopes.

The Grizzlies scored 130-plus points for the third straight game while shooting 53.1 percent from the field and 16 of 37 (43.2 percent) from 3-point range.

Phoenix played without several injured players, including Devin Booker (groin), Cameron Payne (foot), Chris Paul (hip) and Cam Johnson (knee).

The Suns led by as many as 11 in the first quarter and held a 36-29 advantage at the end of the period after shooting 68.4 percent from the field (13-for-19).

Memphis responded behind Morant, who made five 3-pointers in the first half to help the Grizzlies take a 68-65 lead into the break. The star point guard had 17 points to lead all scorers.

Phoenix forward Josh Okogie scored nine points on three 3-pointers before exiting in the second quarter with a nose injury that sidelined him for the rest of the game.

Suns guard Landry Shamet returned after missing three games with a sore right hip and had nine points and six assists.

–Field Level Media