Morant scores 23, Grizzlies rout Nuggets
Ja Morant had 23 points and seven rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies raced to an early lead and coasted to a 112-94 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night in a matchup of the Western Conference’s top teams.
Tyus Jones finished with 17 points, and Luke Kennard, Xavier Tillman and Dillon Brooks scored 12 apiece for Memphis, which trails Denver by six games in the conference race.
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Jeff Green added 12 points. Kentavious Caldwell-pope and Christian Braun each scored 11 points as Denver’s four-game winning streak came to an end. Denver was hampered by a 40% shooting game. The Nuggets’ starters were 17 of 47 from the field in the game.
Denver’s 94 total points was a season low.
The matchup of the West leaders had Denver entering while playing well and Memphis struggling, dropping six of its last 10 games and losing its grip on the second spot as the Sacramento Kings rose to third.
For the first half, the roles were reversed. Memphis converted 56% of its shots and was 9 of 21 form outside the arc. Meanwhile, the Nuggets offense struggled, shooting 38% from the field and making only 3 of 16 3-pointers. Ten turnovers added to the Nuggets’ misery..
KNICKS 128, PELICANS 106
Julius Randle scored 28 points to lead New York to a rout of the New Orleans Pelicans as the Knicks celebrated the golden anniversary of their 1972-73 NBA championship team.
Six players scored in double figures for New York, which won its fifth straight.
HORNETS 108, HEAT 103
Gordon Hayward scored 21 points, rookie center Mark Williams posted career highs with 18 points and 20 rebounds and the surging Charlotte Hornets defeated the Miami Heat for their season-best fourth straight win.
Lamelo Ball had 16 of his 19 points in the second half and finished with 13 assists for his sixth straight double-double. Kelly Oubre Jr. and Dennis Smith Jr. each had 15 points off the bench for the Hornets..
PACERS 121, MAGIC 108
Myles Turner scored 24 points, Tyrese Haliburton had 15 points and 14 assists and Indiana ran away from Orlando in the second half.
Indiana shot 59% in the second half and won for the fourth time in 21 games.
Bennedict Mathurin scored 19 points and Jordan Nwora had 18, both off the bench for the Pacers, while Jalen Smith added seven rebounds and five blocks..
RAPTORS 95, PISTONS 91 DETROIT >>
Pascal Siakam had 29 points and eight rebounds and Toronto extended its winning streak to four games with a win over Detroit.
Gary Trent Jr. scored 19 points and Scottie Barnes added 12, all in the second half, as the Raptors won for the seventh time in eight games. Precious Achiuwa chipped in 10 points off the bench.
Detroit’s Marvin Bagley III had a season-high 21 points and 18 rebounds in his first game since fracturing his right hand on Jan. 2.