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Sluggish Grizzlies fall at Detroit on second game of back-to-back

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant plays during the second half of an NBA basketball game,...
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant plays during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, May 6, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)(Carlos Osorio | AP)
Published: May. 7, 2021 at 2:07 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Grizzlies took on a Pistons squad Thursday night.

Detroit went young, resting most everybody else, and Grizzlies were without backup big Xavier Tillman who was out with a stomach bug.

Grayson Allen missed a second straight game with an abdominal strain.

Que Desmond Bane, the rookie back in the starting lineup for Allen. Bane came off back-to-back 22-point performances but only had 2 in this one.

Dillon Brooks was on a scoring run of late but finished with just 9.

Jonas Valanciunas was back after a night off. The birthday boy did work in the paint and the Pistons weren’t quite big enough to stay with him inside as the 7-foot Lithuanian went for dunks and hooks.

JV finished with his 44th double-double of the season, 19 points and 16 rebounds.

Ja Morant led Memphis with 20 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists.

Griz were up by 1 after the first but it turned into a Pistons Piece de Resistance after that, especially for former Grizzly Wayne Ellington.

He played for Memphis in 2012-13 as a 3-point shooter. His career game high is 8. He didn’t hit that but he did can 6 of 10.

It was enough as Detroit had seven in double figures over a sluggish Grizzlies team.

Pistons went on to win it 111-97.

After the game, Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins called it like he saw it.

“In the end, our guys fought hard. We just didn’t have it,” said Jenkins. “I thought we had a lot of great looks that came up short. I thought, defensively, we fought hard early in possession, but had a lot of breakdowns late. Those guys, obviously, had a lot of juice on the other side. it was gonna be a battle. We just came up short tonight.”

The Grizzlies fall back to .500 at 33-33. Next game is against the Raptors at Tampa Saturday night.

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