Los Angeles—Ja Morant scored 29 points as the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies won their 10th-straight game with a 116-108 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.
Morant seized control in the final moments, scoring five points in the final minute as the third-place Grizzlies closed the gap on the second place Warriors in the Western Conference standings.
“I felt like I was aggressive. I got going very early,” said Morant. “I made them change their scheme up. If you blitz me I feel like I have a lot of guys who can score the basketball.
“Pretty much cat and mouse, we just had to take what their defence gave us.”
The Grizzlies are now within 2 1/2 games of the Warriors after having been eight games back on November 29.
Ziaire Williams and Tyus Jones had 17 points each for Memphis in front of a crowd of 17,800 at FedExForum arena.
Jones keyed a fourth-quarter rally that put the Grizzlies ahead for good. He connected on all five of his three-point attempts.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 27 points, while Klay Thompson finished with 14 points. Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II scored 13 each.
Morant, the 2020 rookie of the year, is just a week removed from a sprained knee that sidelined him for 12 games.
He has consistently been able to elevate his game against the best teams in the league, scoring 30 or more points against the Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets, and Los Angeles Lakers during the 10-game streak.
The Warriors were missing Draymond Green who was out with a sore left calf.
Elsewhere, Jae Crowder scored 19 points and Chris Paul finished with 15 points and 12 assists as the Phoenix snapped Toronto’s six-game winning streak with a 99-95 victory in Toronto.
Devin Booker provided the late-game heroics for the Suns, nailing the go-ahead jump shot with 62 seconds remaining and then adding two free throws with six seconds left before fouling out. Booker finished with 16 points.
Booker shot four for 13 from the field and two of seven from three-point range.
“It was a fight all night,” he said. “They beat us up a little bit, but down the stretch we picked it up a little bit and did what we had to do.”
Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges scored 12 points in the win at Scotiabank Arena.
“That’s one of those games you’ve got to put your hard hat on,” Paul said.
OG Anunoby had 25 points for Toronto, Pascal Siakam added 22 points, Fred VanVleet had 21 points and Chris Boucher had 13 points and 16 rebounds off the bench.
In Chicago, Nikola Vucevic scored 22 points and DeMar DeRozan delivered 20 points and 12 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls clobbered the Detroit Pistons 133-87 to win their 10th game in the last 11.
Chicago took command with a 17-0 run to start the third quarter and led by as much as 47 points at one stage.
Lonzo Ball scored 18 points, Coby White had 13 and Zach LaVine, Ayo Dosunmu, Alfonzo McKinnie and Matt Thomas chipped in 10 apiece as eight Bulls finished in double figures.
Josh Jackson paced the Pistons with 16 points. Saddiq Bey followed with 14 points and Isaiah Stewart had 11.