Suddenly, the Memphis Grizzlies looked like they were having fun again.
Ja Morant danced the “net” dance; Dillon Brooks was screaming at the top of his lungs after big games. Stephen Adams had the rebounds. and the Grizzlies were throwing oops in the alley. Desmond Bain also returned with 3-pointers.
Those big nights snapped the Grizzlies’ two-game losing streak with a 119-106 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday at Scotiabank Arena.
Morant and Adams led the Grizzlies (21-13) with big double-doubles. Morant had a career-high 17 assists and Adams had 14 points and 17 rebounds. Brooks led the Grizzlies with 25 points.
Pascal Siakam led the Raptors (15-20) with 25 points on 8-of-19 shooting.
Here are some highlights from the game.
For subscribers:Dillon Brooks says Memphis Grizzlies can’t handle when NBA teams fight back
Penny confirms.Penny Hardaway Knows Sneakers and Endorses Ja Morant’s New Nike Signature Shoes
The pass opens up the Grizzlies’ best offense
Morant looked like a kid having fun on the playground. At one point, he shared the ball so much that when he got the ball on a breakaway pass play, instead of dunking it himself, he threw the ball to Bain and screened the Raptors’ closest defender. Memphis finished with 37 assists.
The high assist numbers were due to the success of several players who struggled. John Konchar hit double figures for the first time since Dec. 4 against the Detroit Pistons. Bain had 16 points, five rebounds and four assists with 7:21 left in the fourth quarter.
Santi Aldama left the game in the third quarter and did not return due to a sore left ankle.
The Grizzlies minimize the Raptors’ big lineup
The Raptors started with a unique lineup that featured mostly forwards. Fred VanVleet didn’t play with a back injury, so Scotty Barnes and Siakam handled most of the ball. Memphis responded by getting out in transition and using their speed to create easy scoring opportunities. The Grizzlies’ hot start forced the Raptors to start the second half with Gary Trent Jr. and Ham Birch replacing Juancho Hernangomez and Christian Coloco.
Brooks matched Siakam and made the Raptors star work for every basket. The bigger Raptors allowed Memphis to exploit this matchup while having Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr. behind Brooks to protect the rim.
The Grizzlies are finding their shots
After four straight games of less than 10 3-pointers, the Grizzlies snapped a slump in Toronto. The Grizzlies needed those 3s midway through the fourth quarter when Brooks and Jackson hit 3s after Bain fouled out and Toronto was within single digits. Brooks’ big shooting night led the pack, and Bain also knocked down three 3-pointers. Seven Grizzlies contributed 13 3-pointers. When that happens, Memphis is hard to beat.
The Grizzlies will return home on New Year’s Eve to face the New Orleans Pelicans. Whenever the Pelicans and Grizzlies play, it should be fun going forward. They are two of the most talented young rosters in the NBA. The Pelicans and Grizzlies split their first two meetings this season.