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Grizzlies roll Thunder, earn first win since season restarted

Memphis is trying to hold onto the 8th and final playoff spot in the NBA’s Western Conference
Credit: AP
Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas, left, moves the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder center Nerlens Noel (9) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)

ORLANDO, Florida — It’s been 5 months to the day since the Memphis Grizzlies won a game, but they are back in the winning column.

Friday afternoon, the Grizzlies beat the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 121-92.

Memphis’ last win was March 7, when they beat the Atlanta Hawks 118-101. The NBA season was suspended a few days later due to COVID-19 concerns.

Dillon Brooks scored 22 points, dished out 4assists, and grabbed 6 rebounds. Grizzlies’ big man Jonas Valanciunas had a big game, dropping in 19 points and snagging 11 rebounds. Star guard, and likely NBA Rookie of the Year, Ja Morant had 19 points, 9 assists, and 4 rebounds.

After the Thunder scored 37 points in the first quarter, the Grizzlies held them to 23 points in the second quarter on Memphis’ way to a 63-60 halftime lead.

First half highlights included Ja Morant’s 11 points and 8 assists, and back-up center Gorgui Dieng scored 12 points and grabbed 3 rebounds in the 11 minutes he played. The Grizz were a perfect 13-13 from the free throw line.

The NBA suspended play in mid-March due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. They restarted play at the end of July, with all games being played without fans at a complex dubbed ‘the bubble’ in Orlando, Florida.

The Grizzlies currently are in 8th place in the Western Conference, which would earn them a playoff date with the first place and LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers.

The Grizzlies’ next game is against the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors this Sunday, August 9 at 1pm.