Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies sting Charlotte Hornets in dominant road win

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies sting Charlotte Hornets in dominant road win

Updated: 2 months, 21 days, 13 hours, 58 minutes, 24 seconds ago

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies sting Charlotte Hornets in dominant road win

When Ja Morant caught a floating pass from Santi Aldama, he was bumped by Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier while both players chased the ball. As soon as the Memphis Grizzlies star was bumped about 18 feet from the basket, he threw the ball in the air and it banked off the the glass as the referee blew his whistle.

Morant could only smile. The play was a sign of good things to come for the Grizzlies.

Morant scored 23 points as the Grizzlies defeated the Hornets 131-107 at Spectrum Center on Wednesday. The Grizzlies are 5-0 when scoring 130 or more points this season.

Desmond Bane scored 19 points and had a career-high 10 rebounds. Steven Adams recorded 15 rebounds to go with his nine points. Dillon Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr. each shot 6-for-10 and scored 18 and 17 points, respectively.

Memphis (24-13) got a dominant win while limiting its starters under 30 minutes on the first night of a road back-to-back. The Grizzlies have won four consecutive games after losing four of five.

Charlotte (10-29) dropped its third consecutive game. Star point guard LaMelo Ball had 20 points and 12 assists, but he shot just 6-for-22.

Here are some takeaways from the game.

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Hot start in Charlotte

The Grizzlies had their fourth 40-point fourth quarter and built a 14-point lead after the first period. Each starter was making an impact, and the defense was stifling. The Grizzlies shot 53% in the first half while scoring a season-high 76 points through two quarters. Morant led the Grizzlies with 19 points at halftime. Brooks was efficient on offense, and Bane looked closer to his form. This was Bane's first career double-double.

Memphis kept its foot on the gas and didn't allow Charlotte to get back in the game.

Notable rotation changes

Brandon Clarke joined Danny Green as Grizzlies players inactive Wednesday due to injuries. That meant Ziaire Williams and Santi Aldama were active after missing Sunday's matchup against the Sacramento Kings. While Aldama slotted into his normal rotation spot, Williams seemed to be replaced by David Roddy. Williams has struggled to find his form from late last season since dealing with patellar tendinitis in his right knee. He missed the past two games due to right knee soreness. Williams checked into the game midway through the fourth quarter after the game was out of reach.

Roddy showed his offensive potential in the first half when he had back to back possessions where he got downhill and used his size to power through smaller defenders. Since Roddy has spent most of his time on the perimeter, he hasn't showcased his finishing ability off the dribble much, but that skill would be a welcomed addition to the Grizzlies' offense.

Defense finding its groove

The Grizzlies have climbed to second in the NBA in defensive rating after a slow start. Charlotte got a few open 3-pointers in the first half, but everything else was tightly contested.

Jackson continued his dominance at the rim. He's had multiple in the past eight games. Adams also had two blocks, and four Grizzlies starters finished with at least one steal. Memphis ranks top 10 in blocks and steals.

What's next

The Grizzlies will travel to Orlando to face off the Magic on Thursday (6 p.m., Bally Sports South). Orlando will also be on the second night of a back-to-back, but the Magic missed several key players, including Franz Wagner, who should return Thursday after serving a one-game suspension. Memphis is 9-10 on the road this season.