Morant, Valanciunas lead Grizzlies past Heat 118-111


Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) and Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) struggle for control of the ball as Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) moves for position in the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Rookie Ja Morant had 20 points and 10 assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 118-111 victory over the Miami Heat on Monday night.

Jonas Valanciunas finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds as Memphis won for the fourth time in five games. De’Anthony Melton scored 16 points, and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 15.

Miami had won four of five, including three overtime victories. Jimmy Butler had 25 points and eight assists, and Tyler Herro scored 22 points.

The Heat beat the Grizzlies 120-101 in their season opener on Oct. 23, rallying in the fourth quarter. This time, Memphis put together its own late push.

The Grizzlies were up by 11 when Butler went on his own 7-0 run in the fourth. When Derrick Jones Jr. added six more points, the Heat moved in front.

Memphis responded with 11 straight points for a 115-107 lead on a Morant drive with 2:31 left.

Jones finished with 15 points for Miami, and Bam Adebayo recorded his sixth straight double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.


Heat: Adebayo has 17 double-doubles this season. … Butler took only three shots in the first half, but did have five assists. … Miami had won its last five against Memphis. … Butler has nine straight games of at least 20 points.

Grizzlies: F Jae Crowder, who missed Saturday’s home game against Washington with left ankle soreness, returned to action. … Memphis’ 73 first-half points were a season high for a half and the fifth-highest in franchise history.


Heat: Complete a three-game road trip Wednesday night in Philadelphia

Grizzlies: Play at Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.

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