Grizzlies use Morant’s triple-double to beat Pacers
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant had 27 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 28 points and the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a lackluster first half to defeat the Indiana Pacers 112-100 on Sunday .
Brandon Clarke had 13 points, hitting all five of his shots as Memphis snapped a five-game losing streak and took their home record to 21-3. It was Morant’s fifth triple-double of the season and second in a row.
“We needed it,” Morant said. “Obviously we’re going through a terrible crisis that we haven’t been in for years, losing five games on the road. It’s not our identity. It’s not us.
But the game started as if Memphis was going to continue its losing streak. The Grizzlies were down 12 at halftime, but the second-half change, fueled by defensive adjustments, allowed them to outscore the Pacers 62-38 in the final two quarters.
“Clearly the first half was really great and exactly what we were trying to do, which was to make it difficult for them with a solid defense,” the Indiana coach said. , Rick Carlisle. “…The second half, they managed to turn it all around.”
Bennedict Mathurin, the sixth pick in the 2022 draft, led the Pacers with 27 points and eight rebounds. Aaron Nesmith had 16 points and Myles Turner added 15. Indiana has lost 10 of its last 11 games.
The Pacers dominated the first half, leading to 19. Indiana’s first-half shooting, which hovered at 60% midway through the second quarter, helped them take a lead of 62-50 at the break.
But 14 straight points brought Memphis back into the game early in the third quarter, and the Grizzlies beat Indiana 30-17 in the third to regain the lead.
“It’s difficult to play away,” Mathurin said of the second-half collapse. “They had momentum. The crowd got into it. … We should have stayed locked up. The defense was pretty bad in the second half.
Memphis’ 13-2 run to open the fourth opened the game.
“We just accepted the challenge,” said Jackson, who also had five blocks. “We have to go out and compete every night. It’s not new. We’re just happy to be back home and to get a nice win.
Pacers: Guard Tyrese Haliburton continued to sit out with left knee and elbow sprains, but there were indications Indiana’s leading scorer could return to action soon. Carlisle expects Haliburton to train this week “and consider the real possibility that he could play this weekend.”
Grizzlies: Won eight straight at home; their last loss at home dates back to December 27 against Phoenix. … Guard Desmond Bane sat down with pain in his right knee. Coach Taylor Jenkins has ranked Bane on a daily basis and expects him to return this week.
Turner will stay with Indiana after agreeing to a two-year contract extension. Carlisle said the team has scheduled a press conference for Monday.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
Sunday was the Grizzlies’ first home game since video emerged showing Memphis police officers beating Tire Nichols to death after a traffic stop. The Grizzlies held a minute’s silence before the game for Nichols, 29, who died three days after the confrontation with police. Five officers were fired and charged on a series of charges, including second-degree murder.
“Obviously our city is going through a really tough time right now, I’m focusing more on that than basketball,” Jenkins said, adding that the video was “very disturbing.”
Guard Tyus Jones, who was in Minnesota at the time of George Floyd’s death, said it was difficult to deal with emotions when it was happening in his town.
“It’s a sad situation. It’s unfortunate,” Jones said. “A lot of emotions flow. … Anger because it shouldn’t happen It’s not supposed to happen.
Pacers: Host the Lakers on Tuesday.
Grizzlies: Host Portland on Wednesday.
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