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Watch: Morant’s triple double, Herro’s 41 points spark NBA wins

Memphis star Ja Morant and Miami’s Tyler Herro, two of the NBA’s top young guards, delivered dazzling performances on Thursday in impressive triumphs.

Morant had a triple double for the host Grizzlies, who stretched their win streak to seven games and overtook New Orleans for the Western Conference lead, while Herro unleashed a historic career-best effort for the Heat.

Morant managed his third triple double of the season and the seventh of his career with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to lead Memphis in a 142-101 rout over Milwaukee.

Asked if it was the Grizzlies’ best performance so far this season, Morant said: “Easily.”

The 23-year-old guard’s masterful display highlighted a blowout triumph for Memphis, which led 70-41 at half-time and 117-71 after three quarters.

“We were real locked in on the defensive end and that got us easy looks,” Morant said. “We were able to get out and run, get inside the paint and score there.”

Herro scored a career-high 41 points, making 13-of-20 shots from the floor and 10-of-15 from three-point range, and added six rebounds for the Heat in a 111-108 victory at Houston.

The 22-year-old guard became the youngest NBA player to produce 40 points, 10 three-pointers and five rebounds in the same game.

“I’m feeling good, just trying to get good looks, get the ball up and not pass up my open ones,” Herro said. “My teammates get me the ball in situations where I can make a play and it’s another great win.”

Herro broke his old career mark of nine three-pointers in a game set one night earlier in a 110-108 victory at Oklahoma City.

“Tyler was fantastic again with his shotmaking,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He just got into such a great rhythm. Guys were setting great screens for him and he was stepping up into open shots.”

Jimmy Butler added 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for Miami.

At Memphis, the Grizzlies improved to 19-9 while Milwaukee fell to 20-8 in the matchup of second-place clubs in the Eastern and Western conferences.

“Everybody is in their groove, everybody is in their rhythm and everybody is playing with confidence,” Morant said.

The Bucks suffered their second-most lopsided loss since coach Mike Budenholzer took over to start the 2018-19 campaign.

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 19 points on 5-of-13 shooting while Khris Middleton had only three points on 1-of-12 shooting.

“Pretty much just not leaving anybody on an island with Giannis and Middleton,” Morant said of the Memphis defensive scheme.

“We have somebody guarding them but it’s a team effort to slow those two guys down, try to force them into tough shots.

“After that it’s about rebounding and running. We excelled at that and it led to us getting out to a big lead early.”

Pelicans fall at Utah

At Salt Lake City, Jordan Clarkson scored 39 points and Finnish forward Lauri Markkanen added 31 to spark the Utah Jazz over New Orleans 132-129 in overtime, dropping the Pelicans out of the Western Conference lead.

Zion Williamson led the Pelicans with 31 points, eight rebounds and eight assists while C.J. McCollum contributed 28 points.

Trey Murphy sank a three-pointer for New Orleans with 2.2 seconds remaining in regulation time to force over-time at 123-123.

But Clarkson scored the first four points in overtime and McCollum missed a tying three-point try in the dying seconds before two free throws by Markkanen sealed Utah’s triumph.

In the only other game, Mikal Bridges scored a game-high 27 points and the visiting Phoenix Suns snapped a five-game losing skid by beating the Los Angeles Clippers 111-95.


Standings provided by Sofascore

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