The Memphis Grizzlies are not strangers to playing without their superstar Ja Morant. Last season, he missed significant time, yet they still had a 20-5 record whenever he sat.

They were able to do it again against the Utah Jazz, who they beat 123-118 for their sixth-straight victory, which kept them tied with the Denver Nuggets for the best record in the Western Conference.

Morant sat with right thigh soreness and Steven Adams was also out with a non-COVID illness, but that didn’t matter as Desmond Bane stepped up to finish with 24 points, six rebounds, nine assists, two steals and a block. Bane’s still working himself into shape too after sitting for 17 games with a sprain on his right big toe, so his performance was encouraging.

Bane had plenty of help. Tyus Jones putting up 21 points, six assists and four steals, while Jaren Jackson Jr. had 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists and five blocks. Even with the injury setbacks he’s suffered in his young career, Jackson Jr. continues to improve into a great two-way force for the Grizzlies.


Dillon Brooks also chipped in 15 points while Santi Adama had 12 points and five rebounds off the bench. The Grizzlies had a total of 16 steals in the game, which were a huge difference maker.

The Grizzlies consistently show that they always have men ready when some of their leading players sit out, and this was another classic example of this. They’ve got a golden chance to push their streak to eight games after taking on the San Antonio Spurs back-to-back next, and you’ve got to like their chances considering that the Spurs are the second-worst team in the West.

Memphis look determined to show that their second-place finish in the Western Conference standing last season was no fluke. So far, they’re proving their mettle.