Memphis Grizzlies’ 11-game winning streak ends against Dallas Mavericks and Luka Doncic

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Every time the The Memphis Grizzlies trail in the second half, a voiceover plays in FedExForum that says “No one comes into our house and bumps into us.”

No one except the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks snapped the Grizzlies’ five-game winning streak on Dec. 8 and did it again on Friday with a 112-85 win at FedExForum.

The Grizzlies’ franchise-record 11-game winning streak ended with their second nationally televised game of the season. They’re 0-2 when featured on ESPN this season, but the loss wasn’t due to prime-time jitters. It was a double kill of fatigue and control of Luka Doncic.

The Grizzlies (30-15) had just 30 points in the second half while shooting 30.2 percent from the field.

Here’s what we learned when the Grizzlies first lost in 2022.

Tired legs

The number of games played in a short time has been lost in the Grizzlies’ hot streak. Friday was their eighth in 12 days and that resulted in a sloppy third quarter.

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Missed shots and turnovers led to a 17-4 run for the Mavericks. The Grizzlies shot just 8 for 22 during the period while the Mavericks (23-19) were 13 for 22, including 12 for 17 on two-pointers. Add in the Grizzlies playing the second straight night and a bad stretch was bound to happen.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant is tripped and fouled by Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber at FedexForum on Friday, January 14, 2022.

Adding to the poor play, Ja Morant committed eight turnovers, the most since a record nine against the Trail Blazers on Oct. 27.

“You never make excuses, but we have to admit we were under pressure tonight,” Grizzlies interim head coach Darko Rajakovic said.

Morant vs Doncic

Morant had a team-high 19 points with eight assists, but 15 came in the first half. It didn’t help that Doncic, whom Morant passed second in the All-Star fan vote, played better after halftime.

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Doncic scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half and it came after a few fans chanted “Overrated” while shooting free throws in the third quarter. The All-Star guard added 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his 40th career triple-double, his last assist on a pass behind the back and rebounding to Dwight Powell for a dunk.

Grizzlies fans — and NBA fans watching on ESPN — expected a show between Morant and Doncic. Morant had his highlights, including a twisted layup just before halftime. Doncic stole the battle like he did when he hit a game-winning 3-pointer at Memphis last season.

“I know I was tired, the way I was throwing the ball all over the pitch. (That’s) the one you gotta throw out the window, man,” Morant said.

Dallas Mavericks goaltender Luka Doncic shoots the ball past Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke at FedexForum on Friday, January 14, 2022.

Dallas Mavericks goaltender Luka Doncic shoots the ball past Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke at FedexForum on Friday, January 14, 2022.

The future on display

For the first time, the Grizzlies started their final five first-round picks with Brandon Clarke joining Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane and Ziaire Williams in the roster. Despite the loss, it was a moment to celebrate the work of the Grizzlies’ front office.

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Bane had 16 points. Williams had seven points in the first quarter, including a solid left-handed dunk in the first quarter. Jackson had eight points, eight rebounds and a block on Doncic where he pinned his shot against the backboard. Clarke added nine points and two blocks.

Following

The Grizzlies host the Chicago Bulls in the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day game on Monday (2:30 p.m., TNT). This is the first meeting of the season between the teams and the Bulls (27-13) lead the Eastern Conference.

The Bulls, however, won’t have Zach LaVine who injured his knee on Friday and didn’t accompany the team on this road trip by coach Billy Donovan.

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This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Memphis Grizzlies’ 11-game winning streak snapped by Dallas Mavericks

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