Dillon Brooks celebrates homecoming; Grizzlies get first win at Toronto since 2013
Dillon Brooks shook his head furiously after draining a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. The television cameras caught him skipping and scowling downcourt while yelling at the Scotiabank Arena crowd Tuesday night.
"This is my house!" Brooks yelled. "My house!"
For Brooks, raised in Mississauga just outside of Toronto, it made his homecoming even better in Canada. For the Memphis Grizzlies, it was one of several sparks in a second consecutive wire-to-wire win without injured star point guard Ja Morant.
The Grizzlies won 98-91 over the Raptors for their first win in Canada since February 20, 2013. Here's what we learned as the Grizzlies (11-10) moved past .500.
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Brooks returns with a vengeance
This was a game Brooks said was circled because it was his first NBA game in Canada since Feb. 4, 2018, in his rookie season. He also had to hear friendly trash talk from former NBA All-Star and fellow Canadian Jamaal Magloire.
Brooks said at one point Magloire, now a Raptors basketball development consultant, yelled "This is our house." Naturally, that only fired Brooks up more.
He had four steals to go with 17 points. In the fourth quarter, he had seven points, forced a steal to stop Scottie Barnes from a fastbreak layup and had a block on Fred VanVleet.
"I love playing here, it's been a dream," said Brooks while wearing a fur coat and his customary sunglasses. "I still have catalogs from when Vince Carter and Antonio Davis and Alvin Williams was playing here. I love the culture. I love what's happening with the Raptors."
Block Party on Jackson St.
The Grizzlies' defense has been poor all season but Jaren Jackson Jr. has arguably been elite defensively. Case in point, Barnes stared him down on a potential breakaway dunk but Jackson caught up and pinned his shot against the backboard.
Jackson's "unicorn" nature was on display with five 3-pointers and four blocks. It's the second time in his career he's at least had four in each category in a game since he had four 3-pointers and seven blocks as a rookie on Nov. 25, 2018.
He finished with 25 points and six rebounds. Jackson's 17-game streak with at least one block is also the longest in the NBA.
Better competitive edge
For the second time this season, the Grizzlies held a team under 100 points. They had 26 second-chance points on 18 offensive rebounds, led by De'Anthony Melton with four.
That's the type of effort that wasn't there last Wednesday when the Raptors (9-13) rallied in the fourth quarter for a 126-113 win in Memphis. The Grizzlies were the hungrier team from the jump and didn't flinch when the Raptors got close with a 14-2 run in the third quarter to get within 56-55.
Melton tied his career-high with 10 rebounds off the bench and the Grizzlies finished with 13 steals and 10 blocks, their first game this season with double-digits in both categories.
Bane starts the fire
Desmond Bane entered Tuesday with at least 10 points in four of the last five first quarters. He made it five of six with 13 first quarter points on his way to 23 points and seven rebounds.
Bane tied his career-high with five 3-pointers. The second-year guard is someone who has to step up more with Morant's absence and he did it with his fourth 20-point game in the last six games.
Early Santi Aldama minutes
With Ziaire Williams out with knee soreness, fellow rookie Santi Aldama was a surprising choice to join the rotation. Aldama's mostly played in garbage time this season but saw a career-high 15 minutes Tuesday.
It was strange since Aldama has rarely, if at all, played with starters. But it gave a first extended look at the 6-foot-11 forward who finished with two points and four rebounds.
Coach Taylor Jenkins said he wanted to reward Aldama's effort in practice. Aldama struggled but played with good energy and if Williams remains sidelines, it'll be something to monitor as another potential lineup change.
The Grizzlies are back home Thursday (7 p.m., Bally Sports Southeast) to face the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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You can reach Evan Barnes on Twitter (@Evan_B) or by email at email@example.com