MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Grizzlies start the 2023-24 season with a tough loss on their home floor to the New Orleans Pelicans 111-104.
Desmond Bane finished with a game-high 31 points on 11 of 22 shooting.
In his debut in the Beale Street Blues, newly acquired Grizzly Marcus Smart filled the stat sheet.
Smart went 6 of 11 from the field for 17 points, three assists, and two steals.
Xavier Tillman Sr. was starting in place of Steven Adams, who is out for the season. Tillman also finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with only eight points on 2 of 9 shooting, however, five blocks on the night.
As a team, the Grizzlies shot only 42 percent and 28 percent from three-point range.
The Pelicans won the rebound battle 52 to 37 as they led by as much as 17 points.
Memphis will host the defending NBA Champions the Denver Nuggets Friday at FedExForum.