Sat, 10 Jun 2023

Luke Kennard sinks 10 3s as Grizzlies roll over Rockets

Field Level Media
25 Mar 2023, 12:40 GMT+10

Luke Kennard made a career-high 10 3-pointers, Desmond Bane scored 25 points and the Memphis Grizzlies rolled to a 151-114 victory over the visiting Houston Rockets on Friday.

The Grizzlies (46-27) extended their winning streak to five games and have won eight of nine.

Their scorching perimeter shooting carried them to a season-high point total, and the Rockets (18-56) were unable to match the offensive efficiency they showed in a more competitive contest when the teams met on Wednesday. The Grizzlies also won that game 130-125 and have now swept the season series.

Memphis entered the fourth quarter with a 39-point lead while shooting 62.3 percent from the floor including 21 of 34 from behind the arc. Kennard and Bane were a combined 14 of 27 from deep by that point while Jaren Jackson Jr. (18 points) and Ja Morant (16) were also in double figures.

Bane scored 12 points in the first period while Jackson added 10. Kennard gave the Grizzlies their first double-digit lead at 33-23 with a 3 at the 2:57 mark and Memphis closed that frame 6 of 9 from deep while also recording 17 fast-break points despite only four Houston turnovers.

Morant went wild during the opening stretch of the second quarter. Before taking a seat with just under six minutes remaining in the half, Morant produced 12 points and three assists in the second quarter while helping Memphis double its 12-point lead entering the frame. Morant assisted on a Bane 3-pointer at 5:46 to give the Grizzlies a 64-40 advantage.

The Rockets mustered one last push when Kevin Porter Jr., Kenyon Martin Jr., Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr. combined for a 9-0 run that sliced the deficit to 16 points. But Memphis closed the half on a 17-2 blitz that eliminated all doubt.

Tyus Jones buried a pair of 3s to open that run and Jackson followed with a dazzling alley-oop dunk off a Dillon Brooks pass.

Kennard closed the half with two 3-pointers inside the final 30 seconds and Memphis carried an 83-52 lead into the intermission on 14 of 25 3-point shooting.

Kennard followed by going 5 of 5 from behind the arc in the third quarter and finished with 30 points. Memphis made a franchise-record 25 3-pointers.

Smith and Porter scored 20 points apiece for Houston. Smith added eight rebounds while Porter had six rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Rookie Tari Eason matched his career high of 21 points.

--Field Level Media

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