The Memphis Grizzlies ride the momentum of a record-setting victory into their Saturday night clash against the host Dallas Mavericks.
The Grizzlies posted their season-high third straight win in emphatic fashion, erupting for a 152-79 rout of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. The 73-point margin of victory was the largest in NBA history, with Memphis’ point total also a franchise record.
“Man, it feels great. It feels great to be in the history books, especially in front of our home crowd,” Grizzlies guard De’Anthony Melton said. “And we did it one through 15. Everybody contributed, everybody played hard and we all got to get in the game. So, it’s always a blessing.”
Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with a season-high 27 points to go along with two blocks and two steals. Jackson made 9 of 11 shots from the floor, including 6 of 7 from 3-point range.
Melton scored 19 points and rookie Santi Aldama recorded his first career double-double with career-high totals in points (18) and rebounds (10) for Memphis, which had a franchise-best nine players finish with double-digit scoring.
The Grizzlies shot a robust 62.5 percent from the floor and 52.8 percent from 3-point range.
“Franchise records are obviously great. Obviously proud of our guys that they don’t think about that,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said after his team registered a club-record 41 assists. “We’re just motivated by what are our standards every single night. (On Thursday, that) was on pretty full display both offensively and defensively.”
The Grizzlies have cobbled together their winning streak without star Ja Morant, who is sidelined due to a knee injury.
Memphis’ Brandon Clarke was added to the injury report on Friday and is listed as questionable because of knee soreness. Clarke scored 11 points in 15 minutes on Thursday.
Memphis is facing Dallas for the first time this season after the Mavericks won two of the three encounters last season.
Luka Doncic memorably decided one of those contests with a 3-pointer as time expired in Dallas’ 114-113 win at Memphis on April 14.
Doncic hasn’t missed a beat this season, although the Mavericks have struggled to regain their footing as of late.
Dallas has lost six of its past eight games after dropping the back end of a home-and-home series against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. The Mavericks posted a 139-107 win in New Orleans on Wednesday before opening a three-game homestand two nights later with a 107-91 setback.
Doncic followed a 28-point, 14-assist performance in the first clash with the Pelicans by collecting 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in the rematch.
Kristaps Porzingis (left knee contusion) sat out on Friday for Dallas, which has dropped its past three home games. Porzingis’ absence came after Frank Ntilikina returned to action following a calf strain.
“Every time we seem to get someone back, we lose someone,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said.
Kidd added that his team needs to stop worrying about referees’ decisions and get on with the game.
“While the game is going on, transition defense is one of the things we’ve talked about that we have to get better,” Kidd said. “If we’re lobbying for calls during live play, it puts us in harm’s way. … I think we’re going to get better at understanding as a team when to talk to officials.”
–Field Level Media