Ja Morant leads Grizzlies in rout of struggling Wizards

Ja Morant scored 34 points to lead six players in double figures as the Memphis Grizzlies led wire-to-wire in a 115-95 rout of the visiting Washington Wizards on Saturday.

Morant has scored 30-plus points in a franchise-record six consecutive games for Memphis, which led by as many as 27 points. The Grizzlies have won three straight and 16 of their last 19 games.

Desmond Bane scored 19 points for the Grizzlies, De’Anthony Melton added 13 points and Steven Adams recorded a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Kyle Kuzma paced Washington with 30 points, all after the first quarter. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 15 points and Spencer Dinwiddie had 10.

The Wizards have lost five straight and are 13-23 since starting the season 10-3.

Morant scored 10 points in a dominant first quarter for Memphis, which jumped to a 30-15 lead after holding the Wizards to 6-of-20 (30 percent) shooting.

The Grizzlies carried their momentum into the second quarter and extended their lead to 57-30 on Melton’s jump shot with 3:45 left.

Morant scored 18 points in the first half for Memphis, which shot 50 percent and took a commanding 63-41 lead into the break.

Washington made a brief charge midway through the third quarter and cut the deficit to 85-72 on Kuzma’s basket with 37 seconds left. Memphis quickly regained control and maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the game.

The Grizzlies shot 13-of-31 (41.9 percent) from 3-point range and avenged a 115-87 loss to Washington on Nov. 5. Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 10 points apiece.

Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who entered the game averaging 23.6 points, finished with nine points on 2-of-11 shooting.

The blowout continued a rough stretch for Washington, which fell by 29 points to Boston last Sunday before blowing a 35-point lead in a 116-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.

Memphis forward Kyle Anderson returned following a five-game absence (health and safety protocol) and had four points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes.

–Field Level Media

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Author: Sportsnaut

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