Brooks, Clarke lead Grizzlies past Hornets, 117-104


Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) goes up to shoots while defended by Charlotte Hornets center Willie Hernangomez (9) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Dillon Brooks scored 20 points, rookie Brandon Clarke added 18 and the Memphis Grizzlies sent Charlotte to its fifth straight loss, beating the Hornets 117-104 on Sunday night.

Jonas Valanciunas scored 16 points, and Jaren Jackson Jr. added 14 points and 12 rebounds for Memphis.

Malik Monk led Charlotte with 18 points off the bench and provided a fourth-quarter boost that pulled the Hornets within single-digits. Devonte’ Graham had 16 points and 10 assists, but was 5 of 18 from the field, including 3 of 12 from outside the arc. P.J. Washington also scored 16 points for Charlotte.

Each time Charlotte made a run, the Grizzlies answered, including the final six minutes after the Hornets pulled to 99-91. Brooks scored the next three baskets in the lane, and Memphis led 105-91.

Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges (0) goes up to shoot as Memphis Grizzliescenter Jonas Valanciunas (17) defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)

There were times in the third quarter when Charlotte got within five points only to have the Grizzlies push the advantage back to double digits. Memphis held an 86-75 lead heading to the fourth.

Charlotte struggled shooting early, converting on three of its first 16 shots. That helped Memphis build the lead to 20 before settling on a 56-46 Memphis lead at the break.


Hornets: Graham started 0 of 4 from 3-point range, then connected on a desperation 41-footer against the shot clock in the second quarter. … C Cody Zeller scored 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting. … Graham has three straight games of double-digit assists and has multiple 3-pointers in 13 straight games.

Grizzlies: Ended December with an 8-8 record. … F Jae Crowder sat out with left ankle soreness. He also missed a game Dec. 14 with the same problem. Kyle Anderson started in Crowder’s place, Anderson’s second start of the season. … Rookie Ja Morant had six points, his lowest-scoring game of the season. He had seven assists.


Hornets: At Boston on Tuesday.

Grizzlies: At Sacramento on Thursday night.


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