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Grizzlies too much for Pelicans, 116-101

Dec 31, 2022; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) controls the ball against New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant scored 32 points, and Steven Adams had 21 rebounds and 10 points as the host Memphis Grizzlies defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 116-101 on Saturday night.

Desmond Bane added 18 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 17 points and Brandon Clarke had 12 for Memphis.

Zion Williamson scored 20 points, Trey Murphy III added 15, Jaxson Hayes had 13 points, Naji Marshall 12 and Willy Hernangomez 11 for the Pelicans. CJ McCollum scored 10 on just 4-of-16 shooting, including 1 of 7 on 3-pointers, one night after setting a franchise record by making 11 3-pointers.

The Pelicans saw their five-game winning streak end.

Morant scored six points as the Grizzlies extended their three-point halftime lead to eight early in the third quarter.

Williamson made back-to-back baskets to get the Pelicans within 63-60 before Memphis rebuilt the lead to seven.

New Orleans got within one point after a basket by Williamson and two free throws by Hernangomez.

The Pelicans had an opportunity to take the lead at the end of the quarter, but McCollum missed a jumper and Morant got free for a dunk that gave the Grizzlies an 83-79 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Jackson scored the first five points of the fourth and Clarke added a layup that extended Memphis’ lead to 11.

Williamson scored New Orleans’ first four points of the quarter, but Jackson and Clarke had consecutive baskets to push the lead to 98-83.

The Grizzlies scored the first six points of the game and built a 28-16 lead.

Hernangomez made consecutive baskets and Hayes beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to pull the Pelicans within 31-25 at the end of the first quarter.

Memphis scored the first four points of the second quarter, but New Orleans climbed with 40-35 after four straight points by Williamson.

The Grizzlies rebuilt the lead to 47-38 on a dunk by Adams, but Marshall scored eight points and Herbert Jones Jr.’s basket gave the Pelicans their first lead at 50-49.

Adams scored on a put-back and Morant scored on a drive to give Memphis a 53-50 halftime lead.

–Field Level Media

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