Fri, 03 Dec 2021

Grizzlies hope to avoid letdown against Raptors after big win

Field Level Media
24 Nov 2021, 07:40 GMT+10

The Memphis Grizzlies will try to build on the momentum gained from a dramatic victory over the Utah Jazz when they return home to face the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night.

The Grizzlies have won three of their past four games, while the Raptors have lost three of the first four games on a six-game road trip.

After losing by 43 points on the road to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, the Grizzlies came back to defeat the Jazz 119-118 Monday in Salt Lake City after trailing by six points with 1:09 to play in the fourth quarter.

Jaren Jackson Jr. won a jump ball at center court with 14.8 seconds remaining, then took a pass from Ja Morant to hit the game-winning 3-pointer.

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said he did not call a timeout when Jackson won the tip because he trusted his players.

"I didn't need to say anything," Jenkins said.

"When you've got a player like Ja Morant, you don't have to call too many plays," said Desmond Bane, who scored a career-best 28 points. "Just space the floor and read and react."

"Any time Ja drives, it's like he has eyes in the back of his head," said Jackson, who had a season-best 26 points.

Morant had 32 points -- 21 in the second half -- as the Grizzlies overcame an 11-point third-quarter deficit.

The game was the first between the teams since Utah defeated Memphis in five games in the first round of the playoffs last season.

"It was big-time for us to get this win," Morant said. "In that series, we played the majority of every game, good hard basketball and in the last four minutes of those games, they were just better and broke away from us."

The Raptors have lost seven of their past nine games.

Despite holding Stephen Curry to 12 points on Sunday, they lost 119-104 to the Golden State Warriors.

Andrew Wiggins (32) and Jordan Poole (33) combined for 65 points, however.

"Normally I'd say, 'Jeez, we didn't plan on those guys coming in and making those shots,'" Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. "But I think they were just too open. ... You've got to understand, OK, a guy's hit one or two or three, there's the guy you see, rotate harder to him and not let the hot guy keep staying hot. I think they were probably too open."

The Raptors have played the past three games without OG Anunoby (hip pointer). He is averaging a team-best 20.1 points in 15 games.

It is possible he could play in Memphis and Yuta Watanabe (strained left calf) could make his season debut.

The Raptors recalled forward Isaac Bonga from Raptors 905 of the G League. Bonga and two-way player David Johnson were to join the team in Memphis on Tuesday.

Bonga has played in three games for the Raptors this season, most recently on Oct. 27 against the Indiana Pacers.

Dillon Brooks (hamstring), De'Anthony Melton (groin) and Sam Merrill (ankle) were out for the second straight game for Memphis on Monday. Brooks is closest to a return.

The teams split two meetings last season. They play again Nov. 30 in Toronto.

--Field Level Media

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