RECAP: Ja Morant pours in 35 as Memphis Grizzlies top Washington Wizards

By Field Level Media
Mar 2, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Justise Winslow (7) shoots the ball against Washington Wizards center Alex Len (27) during the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant scored 35 points and De’Anthony Melton sank a career-high six 3-pointers to propel the visiting Memphis Grizzlies to a 125-111 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.

Morant made 11 of 18 shots from the floor and added 10 assists to pace the Grizzlies to their third win in four games.

Melton and Dillon Brooks finished with 20 points apiece for Memphis, and Brandon Clarke had 14 while being inserted into the starting lineup in place of Kyle Anderson (respiratory illness). Anderson had started all 29 games in which he had played this season.

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Washington’s Bradley Beal scored 23 points and Russell Westbrook added 23 to go along with a season-high-tying 15 assists. Westbrook, however, was responsible for eight of the team’s 22 turnovers.

Robin Lopez scored 14 points and Davis Bertans and Deni Avdija added 11 and 10, respectively, off the bench for the Wizards, who have dropped two in a row after winning seven of their previous eight games.

Washington held a 48-44 lead with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter before Morant’s driving layup ignited a 27-8 run by Memphis. The Grizzlies claimed a 71-56 lead at intermission after taking advantage of 10 steals and shooting 58.3 percent from the floor (28 of 48) and 50 percent from 3-point range (8 of 16).

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The Wizards answered by scoring the first six points of the third quarter before Memphis responded by recording 22 of the next 30 points to take a 93-70 lead. Melton capped the spirited surge by sinking his sixth 3-pointer, which eclipsed his previous career high set in the Grizzlies’ 133-102 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 1.

Memphis carried a 96-78 lead into the fourth quarter. Raul Neto’s basket trimmed the Grizzlies’ advantage to 10 with 6:31 to play, but the Wizards were unable to get any closer.

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Morant, Brooks and Melton combined for 26 of the Grizzlies’ 35 points in the first quarter to stake Memphis to a two-point lead. Melton drained a tying 3-pointer with 32.1 seconds left before making two free throws with 2.5 ticks to go.

–Field Level Media