MEMPHIS — Ja Morant scored 34 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 24 points and five blocks, and the Memphis Grizzlies rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Chicago Bulls 104-89 on Tuesday night.
Desmond Bane finished with 17 points and Brandon Clarke had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who stopped a three-game skid. Clarke had seven of the team’s 11 rebounds in the key fourth.
“This was an important game to go get because we kind of battled back in that fourth quarter,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said.
Unlike recent losses when Memphis couldn’t close out games, the Grizzlies were solid down the stretch, outscoring the Bulls 32-14 in the fourth — including a 10-0 run.
“These recent games we’ve been giving up too many layups and stuff at the rim. Second-chance points,” Morant said. “We were back to pretty much our defense late and able to execute on the other end.”
Nikola Vucevic had 28 points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls, whose three-game winning streak ended. Chicago played without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan because of right hip soreness.
Zach LaVine scored 24 points for Chicago and Ayo Dosunmu added 14 points and six assists.
But poor shooting hindered the Bulls at the start of the game and in the final period. Chicago was 5 of 19 from the field in the fourth, including making only one of its 10 3-point attempts.
“I thought we did some good things in the fourth quarter,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “I didn’t think we shot the ball particularly well from the 3 or from the field. … I think we lost a little bit of rhythm.”
The Bulls trailed 49-39 at halftime, plagued by 13 turnovers and 30% shooting, including 3 of 16 from 3-point range. But Chicago got rolling in the third behind Vucevic, who had 14 points in the quarter, and LaVine, who contributed 12. The Bulls led 75-72 entering the fourth.
“I think execution-wise, we came down and weren’t really organized,” LaVine said. “We had a lot of opportunities to make shots. We just didn’t knock them down.
“It was a low-scoring game on both ends. We just didn’t get enough stops.”
For Memphis, it was a reprieve from its recent troubles where it had lost eight of the last nine. But Jackson said it is a matter of maintaining a balanced mindset through the slumps.
“There is no time to get excited or feel bad about a win or a loss,” Jackson said. “The greatest teams never did that. Teams that aren’t great, do that.”