Sports

NBA: Thunder snap losing streak with win over Grizzlies

Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies and Isaiah Joe #11 of the Oklahoma City Thunder fight for the ball during the first half at FedExForum on December 07, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. Justin Ford/Getty Images/AFP

Luguentz Dort tied a season high with 24 points to help the host Oklahoma City Thunder snap a five-game losing streak with a 115-109 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.

The loss snapped the Grizzlies’ seven-game winning streak.

The Thunder pulled off the win despite being without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, their two leading scorers.

Gilgeous-Alexander missed the game with a lower back contusion while Giddey missed the game with a non-COVID illness.

Isaiah Joe added a career-high 23 points, hitting five 3-pointers. The Thunder hit a season-high 19 from beyond the arc.

During the Thunder’s losing streak, the second quarter had been their undoing, being outscored by an average of more than 10 points in the quarter. Their last four losses had come by a total of 19 points.

But on the second night of a back-to-back and without Gilgeous-Alexander and Giddey, Oklahoma City controlled the second quarter, outscoring Memphis 39-22.

The Grizzlies were just 6 of 20 from the floor in the quarter, with Ja Morant missing all four of his shots.

Then Morant’s night got worse.

He wasn’t around for the second half after picking up two technical fouls in quick succession in the final minute of the second quarter.

Morant’s second came as Eugene Omoruyi was at the free-throw line with 43 seconds left before halftime.

Morant was turned toward the corner of the court, apparently talking to fans near courtside when he was called for his second technical.

Morant raised his arms in disbelief and smiled as Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins and guard Dillon Brooks argued with officials, with Brooks drawing a technical of his own.

Morant finished with just six points, a season low, on 3-of-10 shooting.

The Grizzlies cut what was a 24-point deficit to five in the final minute but never made a serious run at the lead.

Brooks scored a season-high 32 points to lead the Grizzlies, who shot a season-low 37.8 percent from the floor.

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