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Bane leads Grizzlies past Nets, Irving scores 43

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (AP) – Desmond Bane scored 23 points, including nine straight as Memphis rebuilt its lead in the fourth quarter, and the Grizzlies beat the Brooklyn Nets 132-120 early yesterday.

Irving scored 43 points and Kevin Durant had 35 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Still banned from playing home games because of a New York City vaccine mandate, Irving was on the court for the first time since scoring a career-high 60 points at Orlando eight days earlier.

But that arrangement for Irving, who is unvaccinated, is coming to an end. New York City Mayor Eric Adams is set to lift the mandate for athletes and performers. Memphis was the short-handed home team this time with leading scorer Ja Morant sidelined because of right knee soreness. But the Grizzlies got enough offence anyway thanks to reserve De’Anthony Melton, who matched Bane’s 23 points, and Dillon Brooks, who finished with 21, part of seven Memphis players reaching double figures.

After a fast start, Memphis maintained a comfortable lead until the Nets got untracked in the third. Memphis squandered a double-digit lead in the second half but pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring Brooklyn 29-16.

The Grizzlies led at halftime and the third quarter, but Brooklyn relied on Durant and Irving to chip away. Brooklyn made 16 of 22 shots in the period and led 104-103 entering the fourth.
Durant noted that the 14 Brooklyn turnovers and 16 Memphis offensive rebounds leading to 33 second-chance points were hard to overcome, even with Morant out.

Memphis Grizzlies’ Desmond Bane works against Brooklyn Nets’ Kessler Edwards. PHOTO: AP