Grizzlies try to keep win streak going vs. Pelicans
The Memphis Grizzlies have the longest winning streak in the NBA, thanks in part to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans ended visiting Utah's 10-game winning streak with a 138-132 overtime victory on Thursday. That left the Grizzlies with the longest winning streak, which grew to seven when they defeated visiting Cleveland 113-109 one night later.
New Orleans, which lost at home to the Clippers 133-130 on Saturday afternoon, will try to end the Grizzlies' winning streak when they visit Memphis on Monday.
"It feels good," Grizzlies rookie guard Ja Morant said of the winning streak. "Just staying with the same mindset, never being satisfied, staying hungry and keeping it going."
Memphis kept the streak going against the Cavaliers despite going scoreless for the final two minutes. Dillon Brooks scored 26 points and Morant had 16 points and eight assists as the Grizzlies built a 21-point fourth-quarter lead Cleveland that couldn't completely erase.
"I don't think we played our best and they took advantage of it," Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. "These are situations we've faced a number of times during the season where you've got a lead and maybe a play here or there could have just flipped the game. But our guys stuck with it, despite having a mostly off night."
The Grizzlies shot better than 50 percent from the floor (50.6, 45 of 89) for the sixth time during the winning streak.
That helped them produce what Jenkins called "another awesome, fun game in front of our crowd."
They'll be in front of their crowd again when the Pelicans arrive for a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday matinee, fresh off a tough loss to the Clippers.
New Orleans had its highest-scoring half of the season in building an 80-72 lead and held a 110-102 lead after through quarters, but was outscored 31-20 in the fourth quarter.
"I think both teams kind of slowed down a little bit in the fourth quarter," Pelicans center Derrick Favors said, "but I think we probably turned the ball over a couple of times and let a rebound get away, and they just went and made baskets. I think it was letting little things take us out of the game."
Lonzo Ball had his third triple-double of the season as one of six Pelicans to score in double figures, but New Orleans had 21 turnovers and made just 23 of 36 free throws.
"It's a game of runs," Ball said. "They made their run early in the fourth when they erased that 8-to-10 point lead pretty fast and then it came down to those last two minutes."
This is expected to be the Pelicans' last game before top overall draft pick Zion Williamson makes his NBA debut. The Grizzlies grabbed Morant right after the Pelicans picked Williamson, who is expected to return from arthroscopic knee surgery for a home game against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
New Orleans and Memphis are meeting for the first time this season, so there will be three other opportunities for the top two picks to face one another.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 19, 2020