Morant, Grizzlies beat Nuggets in matchup of West leaders

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant had 23 points and seven rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies raced to an early lead and coasted to a 112-94 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night in a matchup of the Western Conference’s top teams.

Tyus Jones finished with 17 points, and Luke Kennard, Xavier Tillman and Dillon Brooks scored 12 apiece for Memphis, which trails Denver by six games in the conference race.

Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Jeff Green added 12 points. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Christian Braun each scored 11 points as Denver’s four-game winning streak came to an end. Denver was hampered by a 40% shooting game. The Nuggets’ starters were 17 of 47 from the field in the game.

Denver’s 94 total points was a season low.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Gordon Hayward scored 21 points, rookie center Mark Williams posted career highs with 18 points and 20 rebounds and surging Charlotte beat Miami for its season-best fourth straight win.

LaMelo Ball had 16 of his 19 points in the second half and finished with 13 assists for his sixth straight double-double. Kelly Oubre Jr. and Dennis Smith Jr. each had 15 points off the bench for the Hornets.

Tyler Herro had 33 points on six 3-pointers and Jimmy Butler added 28 points as Miami lost its fourth straight. Kevin Love had 13 points and 13 rebounds in his second game since joining the Heat.


NEW YORK (AP) — Julius Randle scored 28 points to lead New York to a rout of New Orleans as the Knicks celebrated the golden anniversary of their 1972-73 NBA championship team.

Six players scored in double figures for New York, which won its fifth straight. R.J. Barrett had 25 points and a season-high seven assists. Jalen Brunson added 20 points, Josh Hart scored 15 points, Immanuel Quickley added 13, and Mitchell Robinson finished with a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Brandon Ingram scored 19 points for the Pelicans, who lost their third straight and fourth in five games overall. Josh Richardson added 16 points, C.J. McCollum finished with 13 and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Trey Murphy III scored 11 off the bench.


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Myles Turner scored 24 points, Tyrese Haliburton had 15 points and 14 assists and Indiana ran away from Orlando in the second half.

Indiana shot 59% in the second half and won for the fourth time in 21 games.

Bennedict Mathurin scored 19 points and Jordan Nwora had 18, both off the bench for the Pacers, while Jalen Smith added seven rebounds and five blocks.

Franz Wagner led Orlando with 21 points. Paolo Banchero scored 19 points and Markelle Fultz 18. The Magic struggled with their shooting, going 6 for 29 from 3-point range and finished the game at 38.9% overall.


DETROIT (AP) — Pascal Siakam had 29 points and eight rebounds and Toronto extended its winning streak to four games with a win over Detroit.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 19 points and Scottie Barnes added 12, all in the second half, as the Raptors won for the seventh time in eight games. Precious Achiuwa chipped in 10 points off the bench.

Detroit’s Marvin Bagley III had a season-high 21 points and 18 rebounds in his first game since fracturing his right hand on Jan. 2. Isaiah Livers, Hamidou Diallo and Bojan Bogdanovic had 11 points apiece for the Pistons, who lost their fourth straight.


AP NBA: and

The Associated Press