Jonas Valanciunas leads the Memphis Grizzlies past Rockets

Mar 29, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas (left) tries to drive around Houston Rockets forward Kelly Olynyk (41) during the first half at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Wyke/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Jonas Valanciunas recorded 30 points and 15 rebounds to help the Memphis Grizzlies notch a 120-110 victory over the host Houston Rockets on Monday night.

De’Anthony Melton scored a season-best 23 points and fellow reserve Desmond Bane added 17 as Memphis won for the fourth time in the past six games. Dillon Brooks also scored 17 points and Ja Morant contributed 12 points and eight assists.

Kelly Olynyk scored a season-best 25 points and collected nine rebounds in his second game for Houston since being acquired from the Miami Heat. Standout Christian Wood missed his second straight game due to illness as the Rockets lost for the 23rd time in the past 25 games.

Jae’Sean Tate added 24 points, D.J. Augustin scored 13 and Kevin Porter Jr. and Sterling Brown added 10 points apiece for Houston.

John Wall was just 2-of-12 shooting in scoring nine points to go with eight assists for the Rockets.

Melton made four 3-pointers and received 28 minutes of playing time due to starter Grayson Allen playing just seven before departing with a hip injury.

The Grizzlies shot 54.1 percent from the field and made 11 of 31 from 3-point range.

The Rockets connected on 42.6 percent of their shots, including 11 of 42 from behind the arc.

Houston opened up a nine-point lead late in the third quarter before Melton scored the first eight points of a 10-0 burst that saw Memphis take a 90-89 lead with 19.5 seconds remaining. Augustin knocked down a jumper as time expired to give the Rockets a one-point edge entering the final quarter.

Bane’s 3-pointer and Valanciunas’ inside hoop gave the Grizzlies a 105-101 lead with 7:29 left in the contest.

Morant knocked down a 3-pointer to give Memphis a 110-104 advantage with 5:28 remaining.

The lead later reached 114-106 when Brandon Clarke fed Valanciunas for a short jumper with 2:32 left.

Valanciunas added two more baskets down the stretch as Memphis closed it out.

The contest was tied at 57 at the break. Olynyk had 15 points for Houston and Valanciunas scored 14 for the Grizzlies.

Houston rattled off 15 straight points to open up a 12-point first-quarter lead. The roles reversed in the second when Memphis rolled off 14 in a row to take a 47-42 advantage with five minutes remaining in the half.

–Field Level Media