The Memphis Grizzlies duo of Ja Morant and Desmond Bane beat Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets in a high-scoring 134-124 win on Monday night.
Both Morant (shot 12 of 22) and Bane (shot 14 of 21) finished with 38 points, combining to score 12 of their 17 three-pointer attempts while the Grizzlies scored a 45-point third quarter winning. The pair’s combined 76-point total set a new Grizzlies record for most points scored by a pair in a single game.
Morant, the most improved player in office, is firmly in the mix for MVP this season and has added eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals to his flamboyant line of stats.
The Nets led 69-64 at half-time while Durant and Irving were both on their way to major games, with both 37 points when Durant was shooting 14 for 20 from the field and Irving was 14 for 24 in an offensive display.
But the Grizzlies’ third quarter blast was too emphatic, with Bane scoring 19 of his points over the period while the Nets had 28 as a team.
Embattled Nets All-Star Ben Simmons struggled, being fouled for the second time in the Nets’ first three games, while also committing five turnovers with his eight assists.
With the win, the Grizzlies are now 3-1, while the Nets drop to 1-2.
Simons catches fire in Trail Blazers victory
Fresh from signing his $ 100 million extension in the off-season, 23-year-old Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons produced his first winning performance of the season as his blast in the third quarter resulted in a 135-110 home win against. the Denver Nuggets.
The Trail Blazers – who at 4-0 join the Milwaukee Bucks 2-0 as the only two teams left undefeated – largely closed out consecutive reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, keeping him at nine points, nine rebounds and nine assists while he fought all night problems fouls.
Damian Lillard scored 31 out of 10 of 16 shots for the Blazers, adding eight assists and six rebounds, but it was Simons’ third quarter that separated the teams.
In just over five and a half minutes, Simons scored 22 of his 29 points, including a stretch in which he scored six consecutive points to help the Blazers score 80 in the second half. It is the Trail Blazers’ first 4-0 early season since 1999.
The young people of the Rockets deliver their first defeat to Jazz
Fans of the Houston Rockets had a glimpse into the future in their 114-108 win over the previously undefeated Utah Jazz, with top three draft picks Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr both performing well.
Both players shot at least 50% both from the field and from long range, and together they scored all nine of their free throws.
Green scored 25 points out of nine shots out of 16, hitting four out of eight from depth, while rookie Smith had 21 points (shot six out of 10, three out of five from long range), nine rebounds and three blocks.
Vassell shows star potential for Spurs
Third-year winger Devin Vassell caught attention with a star performance in the San Antonio Spurs 115-106 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Vassell – the eleventh pick of the 2020 draft – has shown much more direction this season since Dejounte Murray’s departure in an exchange with the Atlanta Hawks, and has delivered seven career-record assists against the Timberwolves.
In addition to showing his ability to create for his teammates, the six-foot-six winger with superb defensive skills showed his all-round game, hitting five out of 10 three-pointers on the way for 22 points, and he also took nine rebounds.