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Troubled By 6-Game Losing Streak, Desmond Bane Owns up to Clinching Grizzlies’ 1st Win Without Ja Morant

Published 11/06/2023, 12:21 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The Memphis Grizzlies have grappled with significant challenges in the absence of Ja Morant, resulting in six initial season losses. However, in their latest showdown against the Portland Trail Blazers, they have finally secured their first victory of the season; thanks to another stellar performance by Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. The dynamic duo combined forces to amass a whopping 57 points, with Bane contributing 30 points and Jackson Jr. notching 27.

On the Blazers’ side, Jerami Grant led the charge with a 27-point performance; Shaedon Sharpe and Malcolm Brogdon each chipped in with 18 points. Notably, their star acquisition, Deandre Ayton, struggled to make an impact, managing only 6 points in the game. The game witnessed a significant shift in fortune as the Grizzlies notched their much-needed first win of the season.

Desmond Bane credits the entire team for the victory

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When discussing the breakthrough from the six-game slump, Desmond Bane showered his teammates with praise for their resilience. He expressed his pride in their collective effort. As for what made the difference in the game’s outcome, Bane initially pointed to the importance of rebounding. When shedding light on Grizzlies’ closing minutes, Bane said, “I took a lot of that on my shoulders from the last game. The way we closed the game. The way we were getting into things and I was a little sped up. And as a team, I took it upon myself to slow myself down; and get what I wanted on offensive end.” He then highlighted the exceptional performance of the offensive playmakers who consistently delivered throughout the game.

In addition to his outstanding performance, Bane made a significant impact on the Grizzlies by securing 8 rebounds.

Read More – Can Grizzlies Finally Survive Without Ja Morant? 3 Takeaways as Memphis Notch Up 1st Win in 2X All-Star’s Suspension Term vs Blazers

Leading up to the game, the Grizzlies exhibited enhanced depth, with Santi Aldama making his season debut and Bismack Biyombo starting for the first time this season. Moreover, Luke Kennard rediscovered his shooting prowess, further contributing to the team’s success.

The Grizzlies lost the tempo in 3rd but came back in the 4th

With a solid 63-55 lead at halftime, the Grizzlies appeared to be on the path to a decisive victory. However, the game took an unexpected turn when the Blazers limited the guests to just 19 points in the third quarter.

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Coming into the fourth, the Grizzlies unleashed an offensive onslaught against their hosts. Consequently, they outscored the Portland team 26-5 over the final 8 minutes and 52 seconds, turning the Blazers’ once nine-point lead into a ten-point loss as the final buzzer sounded.

While it might seem like the Grizzlies put on a defensive clinic in the last quarter, the reality was that the Blazers struggled to find their shooting touch. They shot only 20% from the field (2-9 from the arc). Furthermore, they were unable to come up with crucial defensive stops late in the game.

Watch This Story – 51 Days Away From Return, Ja Morant Teases Grizzlies Reunion With 4-Words

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The Blazers’ season record now stands at 3-4, while the Grizzlies are 1-6.

Do you think the Grizzlies and the Trail Blazers are essentially lottery teams now? Or will they manage to turn their fortunes around later in the season?

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Written by:

Saahil Dhillan

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Saahil Dhillan is an NBA Writer at Essentially Sports. He has been writing articles and blogs for 5 years now, including those for a sports brand that manufactures knee braces, for a Red Bull athlete in 2019 and for a documentary of an Ultra Running Coach in 2021. There’s plenty Saahil can write about why he likes basketball, having followed the NBA for more than 10 years, but he is most keen on picking out various offense/defense strategies, on/off-court decisions, roster changes in crunch time and other underrated key elements that leave an impact on the scoreboard.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe