MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Desmond Bane scored 30 points, hitting 12 of 15 shots, and the Memphis Grizzlies built a big lead early before coasting to a 133-103 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night to clinch a spot in the playoffs.
Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 20 points, going 7 of 13 from the field, as the Grizzlies shot 54%. De’Anthony Melton added 19 and John Konchar matched his career high with 18. Bane was 5 of 7 from outside the arc as Memphis made a season-high 21 3-pointers.
Before the game, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins announced that leading scorer Ja Morant would miss the next two weeks with right knee soreness. Morant sat out the previous two games after tweaking the knee in Memphis’ loss to Atlanta last Friday.
But the Grizzlies were sharp again without their All-Star, just as they were in a 132-120 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, and became the second team to lock up a spot in the postseason.
With Memphis leading 107-71 entering the fourth, the Grizzlies reserves finished up the game.
Lance Stephenson led the Pacers with 25 points, while Terry Taylor had 17. Goga Bitadze finished with 14.
Besides Morant, the Grizzles were also without Dillon Brooks, who rested his left ankle, and Brandon Clarke (left hip soreness.)
Indiana also was playing the second consecutive night after a last-second loss to Sacramento. Like Memphis, the Pacers had multiple players out. Additionally, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle missed the game for personal reasons.
As they did against Brooklyn on Wednesday night, the Grizzlies surpassed 70 points in the first half, taking a 74-48 lead into the locker room. Bane had 23 points, missing only one of his shots in the half, going 5 of 6 from outside the arc.
The Grizzlies opened the second half on a 10-0 run and Memphis had its seventh win in the last eight.
TIP-INS: Lloyd Pierce served as acting coach with Carlisle absent. … G Malcolm Brogdon missed his third game with rest. … Bitadze has reached double figures in seven straight. … Duane Washington Jr., who turned 22 on Thursday, finished with four points. … Indiana is 9-28 on the road.
Grizzlies: Memphis outscored the Pacers 44-23 in the first quarter, matching its most points in a quarter this season. … The 10 3-pointers in the first quarter were a franchise record. … Memphis is 7-1 against the Central Division. Its only loss was to the Milwaukee Bucks, whom Memphis plays Saturday night. … C Steven Adams had 17 rebounds, nine of them off the offensive glass.
Pacers: Travel to Toronto to face the Raptors on Saturday.
Grizzlies: Continue a four-game homestand Saturday against Milwaukee.