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Ja Morant, Grizzlies run away from outmatched Hornets

Jan 4, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams (4) and Charlotte Hornets center Mason Plumlee (24) tip off the game at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant poured in 23 points to lead hot-shooting Memphis as the Grizzlies rolled up a 131-107 victory against the host Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.

Desmond Bane had 19 points, Dillon Brooks added 18 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. supplied 17 points as the Grizzlies shot 50 percent from the field (47-for-94). Steven Adams provided nine points and 15 rebounds.

LaMelo Ball had 23 points and 12 assists for the Hornets, whose defensive shortcomings were exposed throughout the game. He made only seven of 23 shots from the field.

Terry Rozier (21 points), Jalen McDaniels (16) and P.J. Washington (15) added to Charlotte’s offense.

The Grizzlies reached the 100-point mark on an Adams basket in the lane with 1:20 to play in the third quarter, leading 100-71 at the time.

The teams largely traded baskets in the third quarter, with each team scoring 26 points so it was 102-73 going to the fourth.

Memphis began the final quarter by scoring 11 of the first 14 points.

The Hornets, who lost for the eighth time in their last nine home games, couldn’t come back with long-range shooting by making only 11 of 38 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc.

The Grizzlies didn’t let up in the first half, bolting to a 64-37 lead with just under four minutes left in the second quarter.

Memphis shot 53.2 percent from the field on the way to a 76-47 halftime lead.

Charlotte received basically no production from its front-court players, with the Grizzlies keeping those post players under control.

It was another miserable defensive beginning for the Hornets, who trailed 40-26 after the first quarter. The Grizzlies made 14 of 24 shots in the first 12 minutes, while Charlotte was fortunate that five of its seven field goals were 3-pointers.

Memphis put its second whipping on the Hornets this season combined with a 130-99 result Nov. 4 at home.

–Field Level Media