Ja Morant, Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke had double-doubles and the host Memphis Grizzlies dominated the New Orleans Pelicans from beginning to end in a 132-111 victory on Friday.
Morant had 23 points and 11 assists, Adams added 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Clarke had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Dillon Brooks scored a game-high 25 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 20 as the Grizzlies won for just the second time in six games.
Trey Murphy III returned from a two-game absence caused by a foot injury to score 21 points, Zion Williamson added 14 and Herbert Jones had 13 to lead the Pelicans, who lost for just the second time in seven games.
New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram left the game in the first half due to a toe injury and did not return. He finished with eight points in 18 minutes.
CJ McCollum, who led the Pelicans with 30 points in a 113-102 home victory against the Pelicans on Nov. 15, missed his second consecutive game because of health and safety protocol.
The victory was Memphis’ first in five games featuring both Morant and Williamson since they were the first two picks in the 2019 draft. The two young stars had not played in the same game since a 144-113 New Orleans win in Memphis on Feb. 16, 2021.
Memphis scored the first seven points of the game and increased the lead to 27-9 on Tyus Jones’ 3-pointer.
Brooks’ two free throws pushed the lead to 21 before Murphy made a 3-pointer and Ingram added two free throws to trim it to 16.
Morant’s 3-pointer expanded Memphis’ edge to 44-25 at the end of the first quarter.
Jones made two 3-pointers to help the Grizzlies open a 57-32 lead early in the second quarter.
Williamson’s basket and Jose Alvarado’s 3-pointer capped a 12-0 run that pulled New Orleans within 59-46.
Morant made a free throw and added a 3-pointer to help Memphis grab a 68-48 lead at halftime. The Grizzlies coasted in the second half, leading by as many as 36 points.