Morant shines in preseason finale

DETROIT — Ja Morant had 31 points and eight rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies closed out their preseason with a 126-111 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night.

Desmond Bane went 1-of-7 from three-point range and finished with 16 points for Memphis.

Brandon Clarke also scored 16 points while playing extended minutes after starting center Stephen Adams left with a sore neck.

Saddiq Bey led the Pistons with 17 points and eight rebounds. Isaiah Stewart had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Cade Cunningham had 15 points and six assists.

Kevin Knox II finished with 13 points as Detroit went winless in four preseason games.

The Pistons played without center Marvin Bagley III, who suffered a sprained MCL in the first minute of Tuesday’s loss to Oklahoma City.

Bagley is expected to miss two to three weeks. Stewart started at center.

Both teams went with their usual starters in their final preseason game and stayed close to expected rotations through the first three quarters.

The Grizzlies used their backcourt duo of Morant and Bane for an offensive burst in the first half, while Stewart kept the Pistons close.

Morant scored 15 points in the third as Memphis built its lead before Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins went to his reserves with three minutes left in the period and finished out the game.

Memphis rookies David Roddy and Jake LaRavia scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. Pistons rookie Jaden Ivey, the fifth overall pick in the draft, had seven points, going 3-of-11 from the field, including missing all four of his three-points attempts.

Adams was injured in a scrum under the Memphis basket and went straight to the locker room just before halftime. He didn’t return.

Memphis finished the preseason 3-2 and opens the season next Wednesday, hosting the New York Knicks. Detroit also opens the regular season on Wednesday, playing at home against the Orlando Magic.


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