Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Dillon Brooks scored a game-high 25 points and Desmond Bane added 19 points as the host Memphis Grizzlies built an early advantage and held on late to beat the Houston Rockets 113-106 on Saturday.

The Grizzlies, playing without Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., have won 7 of 8 since Morant was sidelined.

They shot 50 percent from the floor, turned 16 Houston turnovers into 21 points, and overcame woeful free-throw shooting to keep the short-handed Rockets at bay. Memphis shot 22 of 36 from the charity stripe but made enough down the stretch.

Christian Wood paired 22 points with 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who were without guards Eric Gordon, Kevin Porter Jr., and Jalen Green.

The Rockets' second unit, led by rookies Josh Christopher and Alperen Sengun, provided the spark to get Houston back into the game. The Grizzlies reclaimed their double-digit lead at 78-66 when Brooks completed a three-point play with 4:15 left in the period. But Sengun scored seven points down the stretch and KJ Martin added five as Houston clawed to within seven.

Christopher finished with 12 points while Sengun had 15 points, six rebounds, six assists, and three blocked shots. Armoni Brooks added 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting off the Houston bench.

Houston closed to within six points on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter, but the unit responsible for the rally began to show signs of fatigue, particularly on the defensive end. The Grizzlies responded with timely 3-pointers from Killian Tillie and Tyus Jones, with the latter 3 pushing the Memphis lead to 105-95 with 4:11 remaining.

That hole was too steep for Houston.

Memphis shot out of the gate with an 11-1 lead as the Rockets missed their first three shots while committing three turnovers. The Grizzlies shot 16 of 24 from the floor and turned three offensive rebounds into 10 second-chance points in the opening period.

Memphis didn't cool off in the second quarter with Kyle Anderson following his missed free throw with a layup that pushed the lead to 18 points before Steve Adams converted another second-chance opportunity for a 63-42 advantage.

Memphis hit 8 of 16 3s in the first half while shooting 59.1 percent overall as Anderson, Bane and Brooks all scored in double figures.

Wood led the Rockets with 12 but missed five free throws.

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Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets
19 Position
Field goals
21 Position
1 Position
6 Position
5 Position
18 Position
1 Position
24 Position

Teams leaders

Ja  Morant
24,3 PTS
52% 2P%
36% 3P%
Christian  Wood
16,5 PTS
51% 2P%
36% 3P%
Steven  Adams
8,8 REB
4,8 DREB
4,0 OREB
Christian  Wood
11,4 REB
9,4 DREB
2,0 OREB
Ja  Morant
6,8 As
3,2 TO
33 MIN
Kevin  Porter
5,8 As
4,0 TO
30 MIN