Kiwi centre Steven Adams has continued to make a strong impression with the Memphis Grizzlies, steering his new NBA team to a 120-114 win over Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday (NZ time).
Adams helped the Grizzlies claw their way back from a 13-point deficit with an inspired third quarter, prominent at both ends of the court on his way to a stacked stat-line of 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists, as well as a pair of steals.
The 28-year-old was his efficient best from the field in Los Angeles, making six of his nine field goals and showcasing his improved free throw shooting - a feature of his play during the pre-season - to land all five of his attempts from the charity stripe.
The Grizzlies starting five contributed across the board, with All Star point guard Ja Morant notching 28 points and eight assists and power forward Jaren Jackson Jr chiming in with 21 points and seven boards.
Adams' former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Paul George was the pick of the Clippers, pouring in 41 points on 15 of 25 shooting and grabbing 10 rebounds.
In his offical franchise debut on Thursday, Adams pulled down a monster 14 rebounds to go with eight points in a convincing win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in their season-opener.
During the off-season, the Rotorua product was traded from New Orleans Pelicans to the Grizzlies during the NBA's off-season for a package including star Lithuanian centre Jonas Valanciunas.
The win keeps the Grizzlies undefeated through the first two games of the 2021/22 NBA season.
The Clippers took a 34-25 lead in the opening quarter on the strength of 10 points by George, shooting six from 12 from the three-point line and finishing on a 10-0 run.
Los Angeles led by as many as 13 in the second quarter, but Memphis cut the deficit to 62-59 at halftime.
Memphis took its first lead since the first quarter on a Morant drive in transition, giving his team a 68-66 lead with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
The Grizzlies extended that lead to 16 points, but the Clippers finished the quarter on a 14-6 run, cutting the Grizzlies' lead to 97-89 at the end of the third.
Los Angeles would get within two points with under a minute left in the fourth quarter on driving George lay-in, but the Grizzlies closed it out with a Jackson three-pointer from the wing.
Memphis continues their four-game road trip out with games against Los Angeles Lakers, the Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors.