In the NBA, the year 2022 closed by offering us a clash between the Grizzlies and the Pelicans, two teams present in the Top 3 of the West. The opportunity to attend a high-flying duel between Ja Morant (32 points, 8 assists) and Zion Williamson (20 points, 9 rebounds, but 9 ball losses…), friends and comrades of the 2019 Draft.
He is ultimately the leader of Memphis who took over the boss of New Orleans collectively (116-101). A victory that took shape in the fourth quarter for the players of Tennessee and which made the business of the Nuggets a bonus, again alone at the top of their conference.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
— A fatal air pocket for New Orleans. Still in contact at the end of the third quarter (83-79), the Pelicans then lost the thread at the worst time. In back to back, they simply took the water in the last twelve minutes: 33-22, with especially a 24-6 to attack the period, without forgetting any basket at 3-pts! Too difficult, under these conditions, to fight, especially since Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant were elusive (20 points to two) to guide the Grizzlies into the opposite camp.
— Ja Morant wins duel with Zion Williamson. The two phenomena of the Draft 2019 met for an exciting confrontation. Unfortunately, between the ball losses inside the Pelicans and the clumsiness of the Grizzlies point guard to start, he generally struggled to keep his promises. It was finally Morant, awake and author of a second period of a much better ilk (23 points), all in aggressiveness, who had the last word against Williamson, meanwhile well muzzled and unable to enter his match. of the whole evening.
✅ The Adams/Jackson Jr pair. Nice performance from the Grizzlies racket, made up of Steven Adams (10 points, 21 rebounds) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 6 blocks). Together, they locked access to the circle in defense and helped their team cause mayhem in the paint in attack (74 points to 44!). Signing in particular a second half of high quality (also with Brandon Clarke), on each side of the floor therefore, to allow Memphis to gradually put its paw on this part.
⛔ New Orleans address. Besides Trey Murphy and Jaxson Hayes, it’s very simple: no Pelicans player has finished above 50% on shots. The proof that their attack was seized up (only 35% is for general…), like the failed performances of CJ McCollum (4/16, including 1/7 from afar), Herb Jones (2/12, including 0 /4 from afar), Naji Marshall (2/10) or even Zion Williamson (6/16), while Jonas Valanciunas went through this meeting like a shadow, because of his faults. Fortunately, the throws (29/36) were there to allow Willie Green’s men to hold on for three quarters. Until that’s not enough…
Memphis (22-13) : back to back against Sacramento, on the night of Sunday to Monday (02:00).
New Orleans (23-13) : trip to Philadelphia, on the night of Monday to Tuesday (01:00).