Morant lifts Grizzlies over Suns
Harden scores 39 as Nets dominate Clippers
Published: Dec 28, 2021 05:09 PM
Memphis guard Ja Morant scored the last of his 33 points on a driving layup with a half-second remaining to lift the Grizzlies over host Phoenix 114-113 on Monday.

Desmond Bane added a career-high 32 points with six three-pointers for the Grizzlies (21-14), who also got 13 points and 16 rebounds from New Zealand center Steven Adams in preventing the Suns from matching Golden State for the overall NBA lead.

"I'm glad everybody is able to see what we're capable of and what we can do against some really good teams in this league," Morant said.

The Suns, trailing 60-48 at halftime and 89-75 entering the fourth quarter, fought back and seized a one-point lead on Devin Booker's three-pointer with five seconds remaining, setting the stage for Morant's last-second heroics.

It marked the first time in team history both Grizzlies starting guards scored 30 or more points in the same game.

"That last play Ja had, got that layup, that's something we've run a couple times but the execution was great," Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. "Credit our guys for playing the full 48 minutes. We just found a way to win a really good game against a really good team."

Phoenix, led by Booker's 30 points, fell to 26-7, sliding one game behind the Warriors (27-6) for the Western Conference lead.

Ja Morant (right) of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots the ball against the Phoenix Suns on December 27, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: VCG

Ja Morant (right) of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots the ball against the Phoenix Suns on December 27, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: VCG

Brooklyn's James Harden scored 39 points, added 15 assists and pulled down eight rebounds to spark the Eastern Conference-leading Nets to a 124-108 victory at the Los Angeles Clippers.

With star teammates Kevin Durant, the NBA scoring leader, and Kyrie Irving in the NBA's COVID-19 safety protocols, Harden seized command to lift Brooklyn to 22-9 overall.

Australian guard Patty Mills and Nic Claxton each added 18 for the Nets. Marcus Morris scored 24 to lead the Clippers.

Chicago's DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points, going 14-of-20 from the floor, and passed off 10 assists while Zach LaVine added 30 points and nine assists to power the Bulls to a 130-118 victory in Atlanta.

The Hawks rallied within 116-112 before Chicago delivered a 14-4 run to seal a victory over an Atlanta squad that had 10 players in COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The Bulls won their fourth game in a row and eighth in 10 starts, improving to 21-10 and second in the Eastern Conference.

"It felt good," Bulls center Nikola Vucevic said. "As soon as our defense picked up, our offense was able to stay solid. We all did a great job and picked up a big win."

The Montenegrin big man contributed 24 points, 17 rebounds, six assists, four blocked shots and a steal.

Cam Reddish scored 33 points and Trae Young added 29 to lead the Hawks.

Charlotte's Terry Rozier scored 27 points and Kelly Oubre Jr added 18 off the bench to lead six double-figure scorers for the Hornets in a 123-99 victory over Houston.

Jordan Clarkson came off Utah's bench to score 23 points, grab eight rebounds and pass out five assists, leading the Jazz to a 110-104 victory at San Antonio.

Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic added 19 points for the Jazz while Frenchman Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 13 rebounds for Utah, which improved to 24-9. Derrick White led the Spurs with 21 points.

Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Dallas Mavericks over the host Portland Trail Blazers 132-117.