RECAP: Houston Rockets rediscover shooting touch in win over Memphis Grizzlies

By Field Level Media
Feb 4, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) defends against Houston Rockets guard John Wall (1) in the second quarter at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

John Wall scored 22 points, Eric Gordon added 20 points and rookie Jae’Sean Tate chipped in a career-high 19 as the Houston Rockets rolled to a 115-103 victory over the host Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday.

Houston rebounded from a rough perimeter shooting performance Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder by drilling 19 of 45 3-point attempts to outflank the Grizzlies, who took their second consecutive loss following a seven-game winning streak.

The Rockets led by as many as 25 points and cruised to the win despite losing starting center Christian Wood to a right ankle injury in the third quarter. Wood posted 17 points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes before departing.

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Tate added seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks to his ledger, proving the Rockets with a strong two-way presence. Wall hit 4 of 9 3-point tries while Wood and Danuel House Jr. made three treys apiece. Wall also had eight assists and seven turnovers.

Houston shot 12 of 46 from long range in a 104-87 loss to the Thunder the previous night.

Desmond Bane led the Grizzlies with 16 points off the bench while Ja Morant added 15. Tyus Jones and Brandon Clarke chipped in 13 points apiece, Dillon Brooks scored 11, and Xavier Tillman had nine points and 10 rebounds.

The Rockets bridged the middle two periods with a 29-3 run, flipping a one-point deficit into a 74-49 lead. Gordon sank two 3-pointers and three free throws during the surge.

Memphis managed to cut the deficit to 13 thanks in part to back-to-back three-point plays by Clarke and Morant, but the hole was too deep.

The Grizzlies erased an early eight-point deficit with an 11-2 run late in the first quarter for a 25-24 lead. After Houston scored the opening seven points of the second quarter, the Grizzlies clawed back again, reclaiming the lead at 43-42 on a De’Anthony Melton 3-pointer with 5:03 left in the first half.

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The Rockets responded with a game-defining rally, closing the half on a 14-2 surge to carry a 60-47 lead into the intermission. Tate supplied Houston with its first double-digit advantage by converting an offensive board into a three-point play and a 57-47 lead before Wood added a 3-pointer.

Tate eclipsed his career high by tallying 15 points in the half. Wall and Wood added 13 apiece before the break. Brooks topped Memphis with 11 first-half points.

–Field Level Media