In Ja Morant’s first game back with the team following an eight-game league suspension, Jaren Jackson Jr. led the way with 28 points, including a crucial layup with 17 seconds left, as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Dallas Mavericks 112-108 on Monday night.
Memphis added 22 more points from Santi Aldama, and Desmond Bane finished with 17, giving Memphis its sixth victory in the previous seven games.
Although Memphis outscored Dallas 29-12 in the fourth quarter, Kyrie Irving, who had 28 points to lead the Mavericks, missed all eight of his shots.
Even though Morant didn’t put on any clothes for the contest, he was on the Memphis bench when the game started, and he was greeted by a thunderous cheer from the crowd. The NBA imposed the suspension after a video from a strip club in the Denver area earlier this month showed Morant holding a gun.
Luka Doncic, the Mavericks’ leading scorer, missed his fifth game due to left thigh soreness.
Irving, who was acquired as part of a trade deadline deal, and Christian Wood, who scored 20 points, were left to carry Dallas’ offensive outburst.
Dallas increased its advantage to 16 points in the third quarter, but Memphis put together a 24-7 run in the fourth, and the game settled into an exchange of leads between the two teams.
Seven ties and three lead changes occurred during the first half of the game before the Mavericks, led by 20 points from Irving, carried a 60-57 advantage into halftime. The third quarter belonged to Dallas, stretching lead to 96-83 as Hardy scored 10 in the stanza, while the Mavericks shot 62%.
Mavericks: While Doncic missed his fifth game with a left thigh strain, it marked the eighth time in 17 games since acquiring Irving at the trade deadline that one or both of the All-Stars has been out. … The 800th 3-pointer of Davis Bertans’ career was made in the second quarter.
Dillon Brooks of the Grizzlies received a technical foul for taunting a teammate following a dunk. It was his 18th of the year, and in accordance with league regulations, he will miss Wednesday’s game against Houston. … With only losses to Dallas and the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis is 11-2 against teams from the Southwest Division.
Mavericks: On Wednesday night, they host Golden State.
Grizzlies: On Wednesday night, they will host Houston in the first of three straight home games.