JA Morant took his high-flying act on the road, as the visiting Memphis Grizzlies ran past the host Los Angeles Clippers 120-114 on Saturday night.
Morant finished with 28 points and eight assists as the Grizzlies improved to 2-0 this season. The Clippers dropped to 0-2 in losing their home opener.
De’Anthony Melton added 22 points and seven rebounds, while Jaren Jackson, Jr. contributed 21 points and seven rebounds. Steven Adams posted 17 points and nine board.
All five starters finished in double figures for the Grizzlies, rounded out by 19 points from Desmond Bane.
Paul George paced the Clippers with game highs of 41 points and 10 rebounds, and he added four assists.
Reggie Jackson got back on track after finishing with just 11 points, none in the first half, in the Clippers’ season-opening loss at Golden State Warriors. Jackson totaled 17 against the Grizzlies.
Eric Bledsoe finished with 12 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Luke Kennard added 10 points off the bench. The Clippers shot just 43.4% from the field and 33.3% from the 3-point line.
Los Angeles took a 34-25 lead in the opening quarter on the strength of 10 points by George. The Clippers shot 6-of-12 from the 3-point line and finished the first quarter on a 10-0 run.
Los Angeles led by as many as 13 in the second quarter, but Memphis cut the deficit to 62-59 at half time.
Memphis took its first lead since the first quarter on a Morant drive in transition, giving his team a 68-66 lead with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter. The Grizzlies extended that lead to 16 points, but the Clippers finished the quarter on a 14-6 run, cutting the Grizzlies’ lead to 97-89 at the end of the third.
Los Angeles would get within two points with under a minute left in the fourth quarter on driving George lay-in, but the Grizzlies closed it out with a Jaren Jackson 3-pointer from the wing.
The Clippers finish their homestand with games against Portland and Cleveland. Memphis continues a four-game road trip out West with games against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors. — Reuters