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Morant, Grizzlies pull away early, beat Wizards 125-111

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)


Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) Ja Morant had 35 points and 10 assists, De'Anthony Melton and Dillon Brooks each added 20 points, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Washington Wizards 125-111 on Tuesday night.

Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 16 rebounds for Memphis, which has won back-to-back road games for the first time since winning four in a row away as part of a seven-game win streak from Jan. 8 to Feb. 1.

After a dominant second quarter, the Grizzlies led by double digits for all but 44 seconds of the second half to follow a 133-84 victory at Houston with another comfortable win.

"In the past, we've got up big and we've let teams come back, let teams have confidence," Melton said. We really are just working on attacking from the jump, dominating every minute of the game we can, honestly.

Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 15 assists for the Wizards, but also committed eight of Washington's 22 turnovers.

"We had too many turnovers that led to easy points," said Wizards coach Scott Brooks.

Bradley Beal also scored 23 points for Washington, which has lost two in a row after winning seven of eight. Robin Lopez added 14 while hitting all six of his field goal attempts.

Aided by Washington's nine second-quarter giveaways, including five by Westbrook, Memphis used a 27-6 run to turn to build a 17-point lead.

Brooks and Brandon Clarke hit 3-pointers before Morant's pull-up made it 60-50. Then Morant found Justise Winslow for a dunk and kicked out to Melton for another 3 to stretch it to 69-52 with 33 seconds remaining, and the half ended with the Grizzlies still up 71-56.

"They were running their offense," Brooks said. "They weren't worried about going through us. There just wasn't enough physicality. Not necessarily that you have to foul, but you've got to make them think about their reads instead of just playing through them."

Washington scored the opening six points of the second half, but was never again within single digits after that.

"Credit to us, learning from past mistakes to continue to keep our foot on the gas to come out with the win," Morant said.


Grizzlies: Started their 10th different lineup as F Kyle Anderson sat with a respiratory illness. ... G Grayson Allen (concussion) missed his second game but is "progressing really well" through the league's concussion protocol, said coach Taylor Jenkins.

Wizards: Fell to 7-3 with their most-used starting five of Beal, Westbrook, Rui Hachimura, Garrison Mathews and Moe Wagner. ... Westbrook was involved in each of the Wizards' first eight baskets, assisting five and hitting the other three.


Morant recorded a double-double while scoring more than 30 points for the first time in his career, and his 11-of-14 foul shooting set season highs for makes and attempts.

"I thought Ja was special tonight," coach Taylor Jenkins said of the Rookie of the Year. "(He had) great control of the game. Offensively I thought he got the team organized, took what the defense gave him, he found the right time to be aggressive. This is something that's he's know that's just part of his overall growth."


The Grizzlies picked up a fourth consecutive win decided by double digits. They have gone seven games since they had a win or loss decided by fewer than 10 points, the last being a 122-113 home victory over Oklahoma City on Feb. 17.


Grizzlies: Host Milwaukee on Thursday.

Wizards: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. ---

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Updated March 2, 2021

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