The Memphis Grizzlies wasted no time to get back on track after having their 11-game win streak snapped over the weekend, defeating the Chicago Bulls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Grizzlies got off to a slow start but after rattling off a 15-3 run in the second quarter they never looked back, handling the Bulls to come away with a dominant 119-106 win.
Desmond Bane was the Grizzlies’ catalyst to open things up, tallying 25 points on an efficient 10-for-17 shooting night. But of course, it was star guard Ja Morant who slammed the door shut on the victory, capping off a 25-point performance with a must-see 360 layup in the closing minutes.
For the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan struggled to find a rhythm but still finished with 24 points. A quiet night from Nikola Vucevic, who only had 10 points, made all the difference.
If you missed any of the action, we had you covered with live updates, highlights and more below.
Grizzlies vs. Bulls live score
Grizzlies vs. Bulls live updates, highlights from NBA MLK Day game
Final: Grizzlies 119, Bulls 106
The Grizzlies closed this one out with ease as Ja Morant (25 points) and Desmond Bane (25 points) led the way. The Bulls got 24 points from DeMar DeRozan but a quiet 10-point night from Nikola Vucevic put an already shorthanded team behind the 8-ball. With the win, Memphis advances to 31-15 on the season, good for the third-best record in the West. With the loss, Chicago falls to 27-15 on the year but still holds a half-game lead on first place in the East.
JA MORANT. The superstar guard is putting on a show with the Grizzlies up big, finishing a 360 layup in traffic to send the FedEx Forum crowd into a frenzy. Memphis leads by 20 points, up 117-97 with three minutes to go.
A little bit of a scuffle broke out between Ja Morant and Bulls center Tony Bradley, but Steven Adams put an end to that immediately. He picked up Bradley – who is 6-foot-10, 250 pounds – and removed him from the scrap like he was a giant toddler.
As the Grizzlies try and maintain a large lead, their bench has stepped up to keep things afloat. They now have three reserves in double figures scoring with Brandon Clarke (15 points), Tyus Jones (11 points) and De’Anthony Melton (10 points) all making an impact. Memphis’ bench is outscoring Chicago’s 47-27. The Grizzlies lead 108-88 with 5:48 to play.
End of third quarter: Grizzlies 92, Bulls 72
The Grizzlies are starting to run away with this one, leading by as much as 23 points just before the end of the third quarter. They’re turning defense to offense, holding the Bulls to 39.4 percent shooting from the field with 17 turnovers. This dime from Tyus Jones to Brandon Clarke off of a turnover had the FedEx Forum rocking.
Memphis just won’t let its foot off the gas. Ja Morant (16 points) is getting comfortable out there, while Desmond Bane has yet to cool off with a game-high 25 points. That duo has the Grizzlies in the lead, 83-67, with 2:12 remaining in the frame.
The Grizzlies aren’t letting the Bulls cover much ground, but DeMar DeRozan (12 points) and Coby White (14 points) are doing what they can to keep their team in the game. Memphis leads Chicago 66-54 with just under eight minutes to play in the quarter.
Halftime: Grizzlies 58, Bulls 45
The Grizzlies lead by 13 points at the half after catching fire in the second quarter. Memphis shot 0-for-7 from 3 in the first quarter but snapped that cold streak, going 7-for-11 from long range in the second. Desmond Bane is really heating up, scoring 15 points in the second frame alone to tally a game-high 19 points at the half. For the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan has been silent but he’s starting to get going. He’s up to 10 points but is still shooting 4-for-12 from the field for the game.
Update on Jaren Jackson Jr.: The Grizzlies forward is back on the bench and available to return after bumping knees with a Bulls player.
Make that a 15-3 run for the Grizzlies! Memphis continues to extend their lead, up 36-23 with 7:19 left in the half . Surprisingly enough, the majority of the run came with Ja Morant on the bench. Desmond Bane was the spark, up to 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the field to give the Grizzlies the lead.
Bad news for Memphis: Jaren Jackson Jr. went down after banging knees with a Bulls player and has headed to the locker room. We will provide updates as they become available.
Here come the Grizzlies. The home team has rattled off a 7-0 run with Desmond Bane acting as the catalyst with five of the seven points. Memphis leads 30-23 with 9:20 to play in the half.
End of first quarter: Grizzlies 20, Bulls 20
We’re all square after one quarter in Memphis. Coby White scored the first eight points of the game for the Bulls and that total leads all scorers. Ja Morant’s five points leads the Grizzlies, while reserve forward Brandon Clarke has chipped in five points as well. Neither team is shooting the ball well from the perimeter, as the Grizzlies went 0-for-7 and the Bulls went 2-for-7 from 3 in the first quarter.
It has been a slow start for the two superstars in this one, as Ja Morant (5 points) and DeMar DeRozan (0 points) have both been quiet. However, Morant just had a powerful and-one finish that may spark a fire as the Grizzlies lead 13-12 with 2:28 to play in the frame .
Coby White has the game underway, scoring the first eight points for the Bulls. He buried a 3-pointer followed by two strong takes to the hoop to tie things up 8-8.
The Grizzlies will start Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Ziaire Williams, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Steven Adams.
The Bulls will start Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, DeMar DeRozan, Alfonzo McKinnie and Nikola Vucevic.
Without Zach LaVine (knee), Lonzo Ball (knee) or Alex Caruso (return to competition reconditioning), the Bulls will need another big game from rookie guard Ayo Dosunmu.
How to watch Grizzlies vs. Bulls
- Date: Monday, Jan. 17
- Start time: 3:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. PT
- TV channel: TNT
- Live stream: Sling TV | Watch TNT App