Ja Morant Memphis Grizzlies
Photo: ClutchPoints

The All-Star guard for the Memphis Grizzlies put on a show for the Chicago crowd. He may have gotten a boost from seeing Michael Jordan clips on the video board. Ja Morant set a team record with 46 points in a regular-season game, and the Grizzlies held on to beat DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls 116-110 on Saturday night.

Morant surpassed Mike Miller’s previous high score of 45 points, which he set in 2007. Last season, Morant established the team record for points in the playoffs when he scored 47 in a Game 2 defeat to the Utah Jazz. After dropping two in a row, the Grizzlies let a 17-point lead down to one before squeezing it out on Saturday. In addition, they ended Chicago’s six-game winning streak.

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Morant had 16 points in the first half and 20 in the third. He hit 15 of 28 shots, including three 3-pointers, and went 13 of 15 from the line. The Grizzlies frustrated DeRozan, who scored 31 points in his 10th straight 30-point game. Adams added 12 points and a season-high 21 rebounds, and the Grizzlies frustrated DeRozan despite his 31-point performance.

Since Michael Jordan’s 10-game stretch from Dec. 25, 1990, to Jan. 14, 1991, this is the longest such streak by a Bulls player. DeRozan, on the other hand, shot just 10-of-29 from the field, ending an NBA-record run of eight straight games. In which he scored at least 35 points while shooting 50% or higher, and was ejected in the final seconds. Zach LaVine scored 28 points in his second game back for the Bulls after missing the final three games before the All-Star break due to an injured left knee.

Memphis led by 17 points in the third quarter, with Morant exploding. He hit 6 of 7 shots in the period, including a 3-pointer and a soaring alley-oop dunk at the end. Early in the fourth quarter, the Bulls went on a 14-0 run, with DeRozan hitting two free throws to cut the deficit to 101-99 with 4:38 left.

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With about 2:30 left, Chicago’s Coby White sank a 3-pointer to make it 106-105. DeRozan then drove for a layup after Ja Morant scored two free throws. Desmond Bane of the Grizzlies sank a three-pointer to extend the advantage to 111-107. Nikola Vucevic converted a free throw for the Bulls. Bane and Morant both missed jumpers before LaVine hit two free throws with 25.5 seconds left to trim the margin to 111-110.

Memphis’ Tyus Jones then sank a pair of free throws with 14.9 seconds left to make it a three-point game. With a timeout on their hands, the Bulls chose to attack the rim rather than attempt a 3-pointer. However, DeRozan missed in the lane, fought a non-call.

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