Memphis’ fifth win in a row assured Orlando that Taylor Jenkins’ troops could avoid a slightly tighter final than expected.
Ja Morant didn’t miss an opportunity to send his team off on the right foot, attacking the game with two acrobatic finishes near the circle. Jaren Jackson Jr. also brought his rock to the building, first with three big blocks, then mimicking Tyus Jones and David Roddy with a 3-pointer, but 3+1 to start the second quarter (20-26).
The fired-up Grizzlies asserted their stride with a 14-2 run fueled by Ziaire Williams’ (31-47) blasts. Ja Morant regained control of the game before allowing the Roddy-Konchar duo to take a +22 lead at halftime after a late 3-pointer (43-65) to remind them how dominant they can be by scoring or passing.
Orlando did not break down, especially relying on Paolo Banchero, the author of 10 points in a row, and tried to reduce the score a little (51-68). Trouble responded with Jaren Jackson and two and-ones before Ja Morant scored two more baskets and kept the Floridians within striking distance (57-82).
With the help of Terrence Ross, at the end of the third quarter, the locals passed 11-2, restored a doubtful appearance (78-90). Memphis believed it would drive home the point with two new long shots and a dunk for Ziaire Williams, as well as a still-aggressive Ja Morant (97-114) at the rim. But that was without taking into account Franz Wagner’s 19 points during that time! German almost single-handedly revived the tension with two 3-pointers and two baskets in transition, which helped the Floridians to -6 (114-120)!
After three valuable baskets by Jaren Jackson Jr., Ja Morant sealed the game from the free throw line to secure a 123-115 victory.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– The Awakening of Jaren Jackson Jr.. Jaren Jackson Jr., along with Ja Morant, Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks, is one of the rare players whose scoring average has steadily declined over the past two seasons while shooting more than 17 points before a meniscus injury. Orlando “bubble”. He recalled that night as capable of taking on a more important role on this side of the floor. Of particular note, Memphis relied on him three times (successfully) to answer the hot hitting of Franz Wagner & co. This is his first game of the season with over 30 points.
– Grizzlies’ 25th win. The Grizzlies hold a narrow win advantage at the same stage in the 2021-22 series. On the other hand, after this 25th setback, Orlando’s playoff dreams seem a little more distant.
✅Grizzlies Leaders. The Morant-Jackson tandem will be unplayable tonight, between the bright inspirations of the leader and the thrilling efficiency of the second. Inevitably, these are the two players we find to kill this game.
✅ Magical leaders. If the Magic’s first half left something to be desired, the continuation was even better, Paolo Banchero, then Franz Wagner made the rebellion sound quite improbable, with 19 points for the first in the third quarter and … 19 points. second in the fourth! A show that delivers some impressive sequences. In the end, even if there is not a win, it is encouraging.
✅ Zaire Williams. His best game since returning from injury to remind us of just how important he could be last season. Aggressiveness, skill and spectacle, a perfect performance off the bench for him in just 14 minutes of play.
⛔️ Orlando shooters (except Terrence Ross). Fortunately, Terrence Ross was there to keep Orlando’s 3-point success percentage still there. For the rest, there’s not much to get your teeth into, especially Gary Harris (0/4), Cole Anthony (0/) 5) or Jalen Suggs (0/ 2).
Orlando (14-25): The Magic begin a five-game road trip this Saturday (2:30 p.m.) on Golden State’s floor.
Memphis (25-13): The Grizzlies will now prepare to host Utah this Sunday (midnight).