Young Grizzlies Ring In The New Year With Hot Start
After an inconsistent start to the season, the Memphis Grizzlies' young core has caught fire in recent weeks. Since the turn of the new year, the Grizzlies are 6-1, including a 6-game winning streak dating back to January 2.
The Grizzlies opened the year with a 128-123 loss on the road to the Sacramento Kings, a game in which Memphis led by as much as 20 but could not hang on for the win. In response, the Grizzlies roared to a 140-114 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Rookie guard Ja Morant was one of 4 starters who scored 20+ points as he led with 22 points and dished 9 assists in the win.
Memphis followed that win up with a pair of 7 point victories over the Phoenix Suns on the road and the Minnesota Timberwolves at home. The 119-112 win over the Timberwolves opened up a 6 game homestand for the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies' young stars shined again in a 134-121 home victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Forward Jaren Jackson Jr. poured in 24 points and 3 rebounds, while Morant scored 22 points and handed out 14 assists. Veteran center Jonas Valanciunas led the way with 31 points and 19 rebounds in a 122-102 win over the Golden State Warriors.
Morant's talents were once again on full display on Tuesday night, as he went toe-to-toe with Houston Rockets superstar James Harden. Morant's big night guided the Grizzlies to a 121-110 home victory over the Rockets.
During this stretch, Ja Morant has averaged 20.5 points and 9.3 assists per game, while Jaren Jackson Jr. has averaged 21 points per game while shooting 51.7% from the 3 point line. The offensive explosion for the Grizzlies has led to Memphis finding themselves in the Western Conference's 8th seed and making the playoffs a real possibility for a team that was thought to be young and rebuilding.
The Grizzlies will be back on the court on Friday night as they wrap up the 6-game homestand with a matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who beat the Grizzlies in Cleveland 114-107 back on December 20.