Former Duke basketball great gives flashes of Blue Devil glory days

Former Duke basketball guard Tyus Jones (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Former Duke basketball guard Tyus Jones (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

Tyus Jones turned back the clock to resemble Duke basketball’s Tyus Stones.

Many of the Duke basketball faithful remain very fond of former Dukie Tyus Jones. Rightfully so, as he was the spearhead who helped bring home the fifth championship to Durham.

Since entering the NBA, he has made a career for himself as a solid backup point guard. However, he has turned it up a notch this season. And he even turned back the hands of time with his performance for the Memphis Grizzlies (29-14) in Tuesday night’s 116-108 home win over the Golden State Warriors (30-10).

Coming into the game, Jones was already on one of the best stretches of his young career. The 25-year-old point guard averaged 13.2 points, 4.2 assists, and 3.7 rebounds across the previous seven outings.

A clutch Duke basketball champ

With his game clicking, his team success has as well. He’s been a catalyst for the Memphis Grizzlies on their 10-game win streak. Their game against the Golden State Warriors was a statement game, but arguably the player who made the biggest statement was Tyus Jones.

Jones finished with 17 points and eight assists, shooting 6-for-8 from the field and 5-for-5 from three. The former Blue Devil earned his nickname “Tyus Stones” from his ability to make timely shots, ultimately propelling the 2015 Duke national champs to victory. That’s exactly what he did for the Grizzlies down the stretch against the Warriors.

The Warriors were making their run late and closing the gap. Both teams were going back and forth with missed opportunities on offense.

After a missed layup by Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., Tyus Jones grabbed the offensive rebound and drained a straightaway three, giving Memphis a two-possession lead. The Warriors would go the other way and miss once more, allowing Jones to step into another three, making it a three-possession game and giving the Grizzlies a nine-point cushion that they would hold onto for the remainder of the game.

The duel between Ja Morant and Stephen Curry is what has everyone talking. But statistically, the player who had the biggest impact was Tyus Jones, evident in his game-high plus-minus of +20 across 23 minutes on the court.

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Without him, the Memphis Grizzlies were nowhere close to being in a position to win. It seems some things don’t change, and Tyus Jones being a stone-cold weapon is one of those things.