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Another loss and another get-better message as Grizzlies fall to Mavericks

Terry Davis

“Keep working. Keep getting better.” That’s what head coach Taylor Jenkins told his team after the Grizzlies’ 120-113 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at FedExForum on Monday night.

The loss to the Mavericks (14-8), who played without Kyrie Irving and Grant Williams, was Memphis’ 10th at home in 11 tries this season. And with three games remaining on All-Star Ja Morant’s 25-game suspension, Memphis is bearing the weight of a 6-16 record.

Jenkins acknowledged the Grizzlies’ frustration level.

“It’s pretty high,” he said. “We’ve got to come out and create our own energy … regardless of what our roster is or whose playing. We’ve found it on the road in the recent stretch.

“I can’t put a finger on it, but we’ve just got to play better. Our fans deserve better.”

The Grizzlies got off to a hot start, connecting on 3 three-pointers to take an early (9-4) lead. By the time the opening quarter ended, the Mavericks led by 5 points (29-24) and it was up hill from there for Memphis.

Dallas exploded for 38 points in the second quarter and took a 67-51 lead into halftime. Getting shots from pretty much anywhere they wanted, the Mavericks shot 67 percent in the quarter. Dallas superstar Luka Doncic, who scored 23 points in the first half, finished with 35 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists and made 12 of 13 free throws.

Desmond Bane sizes up Dallas’ Seth Curry. (Photo: Terry Davis/The Tri-State Defender)

Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane supplied the bulk of Memphis’ firepower as the Grizzlies only got 8 points from its bench. Jackson scored 41 points and connected on 6 of 10 three-pointers; both were season highs. Bane had 28 points and 8 assists. Vince Williams Jr., who was tasked with trying to slow down Doncic most of the night, had 10 points, 9 rebounds and an assist.

In the second half, the Grizzlies made a couple of runs to get back into the game but the Mavericks had a timely response each time. A 10-2 Dallas run put them up 96-79 headed into the final quarter. Memphis’ 16-5 run cut the Grizzlies’ deficit to 10 points (109-99) with 5:07 left in the game before the Mavericks pushed back and ended that threat.

“It’s tightening up on the defensive end; being on the same page and executing,” Bane said when asked what the Grizzlies could do to extend their offensive runs and stop their opponents.

“It’s important to do it throughout the game. When we got a run going, we got to tighten up and execute.”


The Grizzlies have a mid-week (December 13) matchup in Houston against the Rockets, with tipoff set for 7 p.m. The Rockets have defeated the Grizzlies twice this season.

Memphis will host Houston on Friday (December 15) at 7 p.m. The game will mark the return of former Memphis Grizzly Dillon Brooks.



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