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Amid skid Grizzlies grind on with as much positivity as they can muster

Limping at the beginning of the season, the winless Memphis Grizzlies (0-5) were blown out by the Jazz in Utah on Wednesday (Nov. 1) night.

After an opening-night loss at FedExForum to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Grizzlies, who are playing without All-Star Ja Morant (suspension), center Steven Adams (season-ending injury, Brandon Clarke (Achilles), and Santi Aldama (ankle), have suffered losses to the NBA champion Denver Nuggets, the Washington Wizards, the Dallas Mavericks and now Utah.

On Friday, Memphis will be at Portland for an in-season tournament game.

Against the Jazz, the Grizzlies Desmond Bane scored 21 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. added 19 for winless Memphis, which trailed the entire game and has opened a season with five straight losses for the first time since 2002, when they dropped 13 consecutive games.

The Jazz (2-3) scored on their final eight possessions of the first quarter and shot 15 of 20 from the field and 8 for 10 from 3-point range for a 42-19 lead.

“Our offense really hurt us in that first quarter. We had tons of open shots. We missed some bunnies at the rim. Just got to keep getting better,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said.

Memphis’ team defense stopped Micheal Porter of Denver at the basket but could not overcome the Nuggets. (Photo: Warren Roseborough/The New Tri-State Defender)

Morant, who is serving a 25-game suspension, has been allowed to practice and travel with the team at times, so the struggling Grizzlies are regularly reminded of their missing catalyst.

“Stay the course – we’ve been preaching the same stuff,” said Memphis’ All-Star power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. “We’re on a skid right now. It’s been hard but there’s been a lot of positivity throughout the team and that’s what matters because we’re going to need that later.”

(This story reflects a report by the Associated Press.)

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