With the nucleus of the Milwaukee Bucks’ NBA Championship team sitting out, the Memphis Grizzlies emerged with an 87-77 win in the first of six preseason games.
The game, which featured an electric start by the Grizzlies, was halted just as the third quarter ended when a fire alarm was triggered, forcing the teams from the court and the evacuation of fans.
An hour later came the official word that the alarm was an accident. By that time, both the Grizzlies and the Bucks had gone through their postgame therapy and the game was called official.
Memphis led by as many as 16 points in the first half. The Bucks cut the deficit to two points on several occasions, but never led in the game.
Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane all appeared to be in mid-season form. Morant dazzled the light, preseason crowd with two thunderous dunks in the second half. He had 27 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists in only 24 minutes of action.
Jackson’s performance served as an early indication that he has the tools to be a cornerstone the Grizzlies can build upon to make another playoff run. Engaged and energetic, he scored from the outside and inside, finishing with 7 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
Bane, the breakout rookie from last season, continued where he left off. He turned in 10 points and three assists and connected on two of four three-pointers.
The Bucks held seven players out of the game, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton. The Grizzlies held out four players Dillon Brooks, Sean McDermott, Sam Merrill and Killian Tillie.
Grayson Allen, the former Grizzly traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in the off season, had 13 points in a starting role.
The goal for both teams was to knock off some of the off-season rust off and to get out of the game without any injuries. Both missions were accomplished.
NEXT: Memphis will hit the road to face the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday (Oct. 7) and will return home on Saturday (Oct 9) to face the Atlanta Hawks at FedExForum.