Friday, March 24, 2023
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NBA Preview: Memphis Grizzlies (40-26) at Dallas Mavericks (34-34)

The Memphis Grizzlies will play Dallas on Monday night to begin a three-game road trip without Ja Morant, hoping to win for the third time in a row.

Due to an off-court incident that occurred on March 3 at a Colorado strip club, Morant is likely to miss his fifth consecutive game. After it appeared that the star point guard flashed a handgun during an Instagram live video, authorities announced five days later that Morant would not face criminal charges. His return to action is still unknown.

Desmond Bane scored 25 points and rookie David Roddy scored 24 points off the bench, both career highs, in Memphis’ hard-fought 112-108 home victory over the Mavericks on Saturday.

Roddy scored 17 focuses in the final quarter and assisted the Grizzlies with beating a 83-77 Dissidents lead entering the game’s last edge. He made seven of eight shots, including three of four attempts from the three-point arc, as Memphis overcame an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to claim its 40th victory of the season.

The Grizzlies and Mavericks, who were without Luka Doncic in Saturday’s defeat due to a left thigh strain, played their first game in three days. Due to pain in his right foot, newly acquired Kyrie Irving also did not participate.

Doncic scored 15 points and provided eight assists in the team’s 113-106 road loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. He left the game in the third quarter. Doncic’s left thigh was not damaged by an MRI, so he is listed as questionable for Monday’s game against Memphis.

Irving played 41 minutes against the Pelicans before being scratched 90 minutes before the Grizzlies’ game. He is expected to play in the rematch against Memphis and scored a team-high 27 points against New Orleans.

In the absence of Morant, Memphis’ starting point guard is Tyus Jones. He’s averaging 10.1 focuses and 4.8 helps per game. In the absence of Morant, Bane (21.3 points per game, 4.2 assists per game) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (17.0 points per game, 6.6 rebounds, 3.2 blocks per game) are being used more frequently on the offensive end.

Dillon Brooks has played 34 minutes per game for the Grizzlies over the last two games, but his offensive production needs to improve after scoring eight points in Saturday’s victory over Dallas.

In Saturday’s defeat to Memphis, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 23 points and grabbed six rebounds. Christian Wood scored 14 points off the bench, and Josh Green had a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The Mavericks will once again need Hardy, Hardaway, and Green to take over on the offensive end if Doncic and Irving are unable to play.

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