Ja Morant had 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Memphis Grizzlies pounded the Milwaukee Bucks 142-101 on Thursday night.
Dillon Brooks added 18 points and Tyus Jones had 16 as eight Grizzlies scored in double figures. Memphis led from start to finish in its seventh consecutive win.
Memphis’ win, coupled with New Orleans’ overtime loss to Utah on Thursday night, moved the Grizzlies into first place in the Western Conference.
“When teams face us, they’ve got to be ready to come out and play,” Morant said, adding: “We’ve got multiple guys who can go out and score the ball. If you scout us, you’ve got to name everybody on the list.”
The Grizzlies opened a 50-point lead in the fourth quarter for the NBA’s largest advantage this season. Milwaukee was held to 38 points in the paint, while Memphis had 86.
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“I don’t think it is anything earth-shattering,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins stated of the defensive effort. He added that the Grizzlies were disciplined and showed multiple players against Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“I thought we did a really good job just taking them out of the paint.”
Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis led the Bucks with 19 points apiece before Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer emptied the bench late in the third quarter.
“We were just beaten soundly in every way, shape and form, and we have to own that,” Budenholzer said.
The game featured two of the top teams in their respective conferences. Milwaukee started the night a game behind East-leading Boston, while Memphis was tied for first with the Pelicans in the Western Conference.
But the Bucks struggled from the start of the game. Memphis led 70-41 at halftime. It was the most points given up in a half by Milwaukee this season.
“They were just playing well. Knocking down shots,” Antetokounmpo said. “They were running. Their pace was really fast. They were just playing good basketball.”
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