Brooks dominates in Toronto return to lead Grizzlies past Raptors

Star point guard Ja Morant scored a double-double to lead the Memphis Grizzlies past the visiting Toronto Raptors 119-106 on Thursday.

Morant finished with 19 points, 17 assists and four rebounds.

Dillon Brooks of Mississauga, Ont., added 25 points, six assists and four rebounds for Memphis (21-13). Steven Adams scored 14 points and grabbed 17 rebounds.

Pascal Siakam had 25 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for Toronto (15-20).

Scottie Barnes had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Gary Trent Jr. scored 20 off the bench.

Star point guard Fred VanVleet missed the game with persistent back problems. Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said forward Precious Achiuwa could return on Friday.

Montreal’s Khem Birch dunked an emphatic dunk in the closing seconds of the first quarter for the Raptors, then fellow Montrealer Chris Boucher combined with OG Anunoby to block a layup by Memphis guard Tyus Jones to end the period. Despite those back-to-back games, Toronto trailed the visitors 30-20 after 12 minutes.

Siakam had two free throws, his fourth and fifth of the game, to cut the Grizzlies’ lead to 57-43 at halftime. He led the Raptors with 11 points, five rebounds and two assists up to this point.

Brooks led all scorers at the break with 15 points. The Canadian also had four assists and two rebounds in two quarters.

Barnes walked off the field, through the crowd and straight to the Toronto locker room at 8:30 a.m. of the third as play continued without him. Barnes rubbed his face in obvious pain as he walked between the rows of ventilators toward the tunnel.

He returned to the pitch less than three minutes later, seemingly no more uncomfortable.

Morant shone in the third, scoring 13 points in the quarter alone to extend Memphis’ lead to 93-75. Siakam had 10 points in the period as the Raptors continued to fall behind the Grizzlies.

Toronto showed some life in the fourth quarter, continuing a run within nine of Memphis. That forced the Grizzlies to put their starting five back on the floor to reaffirm their lead.

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