Wizards bounce back defensively, top winless Grizzlies 113-106 for victory in home opener
Sat, Oct 28, 2023
NBA News (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Corey Kispert scored all of his 22 points in the first half, and the Washington Wizards held off the winless Memphis Grizzlies 113-106 in their home opener Saturday night.
It's a new era in Washington following the departures of Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis and the arrival of new team president Michael Winger. Little is expected of the Wizards in 2023-24, but after allowing 143 points in a season-opening loss at Indiana, Washington took advantage of 18 turnovers by the Grizzlies.
Memphis, which is without suspended star Ja Morant, has dropped its first three games this season after surpassing 50 wins in each of the past two. The Grizzlies were on the second night of a back-to-back after a four-point loss to defending champion Denver.
The Wizards missed their first eight shots to start the game, but Kispert scored 16 points in the second quarter. Washington went 12 of 29 from 3-point range in the first half, and although Memphis limited the damage from long range after halftime, the Wizards had already built a substantial lead.
The Wizards were up 62-46 at the half, and Kyle Kuzma's three-point play on an alley-oop dunk gave Washington its biggest lead at 75-50. Memphis cut the lead to 12 by the end of the third quarter and had it in single digits late, but couldn't draw any closer than six.
Jordan Poole led the Wizards with 27 points and Kuzma added 21. Desmond Bane scored 26 for Memphis.
Memphis dealt Tyus Jones to Washington as part of the deal that sent Porzingis from the Wizards to Boston. Jones had 14 points and seven assists against his former team.
Grizzlies: Host Dallas on Monday night.
Wizards: Host Boston on Monday night.
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