MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant scored 17 of his 28-points in a third-quarter rally in the Memphis Grizzlies' 120-108 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.

Dillon Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr. added 18 points each, and Desmond Bane had 16. Brandon Clarke finished with 14 points, 10 of them in the fourth quarter.

Paul George led the Clippers with 23 points and six assists. Reggie Jackson had 18 points, hitting 4 of 8 3-point attempts. Luke Kennard added 15 points for Los Angeles, going 6 of 8 overall and 3 of 4 from 3-point range.

"We were just active on defense. When they had their runs, we slacked off," Brooks said. "We just got steals. Ran down and made plays for each other. When we are making plays for each other, you see what the end result is. We're all happy and getting ready for the next game."

Memphis held the lead through most of the game, but Morant provided an offensive burst in the third quarter. The Grizzlies stretched the advantage to 20 when Clark converted four consecutive inside baskets early in the fourth.

"I feel like it is tougher for a defense to guard me," said Morant who worked in the offseason on his 3-point shooting. "I can knock down the 3, knock down the midrange pull up, get to my floater or get all the way to the rack."

Memphis shot 54% in the game and made 11 of 26 from outside the arc against a Clippers defense that is among the best in the league.

"We had a tough time just guarding the ball at the point of attack," Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. "We just didn't do a good job of controlling the basketball. They got deep in the paint."

In the first half, Memphis would pull away only to have the Clippers fight their way back, coming close to erasing the Grizzlies' advantage. That trend continued until the break, Memphis holding a 56-53 advantage.

The game stayed close through much of the third. George and Jackson began converting 3-point shots. But Morant took over the Memphis offense. The guard wiggled his way into the paint and added a 3-pointer. His 17 points went with four assists in the frame as Memphis connected on 13 of 18 shots for a 94-85 lead entering the fourth.

"We did a better job of taking care of the basketball," Lue said. "We just didn't do a good job of making quick decisions offensively. Not able to make the quick decisions right now so we've got to continue to keep getting better with that as well."


CLEVELAND (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 20 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter, hitting three straight 3-pointers, and NBA-leading Golden State overcame a 13-point deficit to beat Cleveland.

Curry made 8 of 12 shots, including 4 of 7 3-pointers, in the final period to help Golden State outscore the Cavaliers 36-8. The Warriors ran off the first 17 points of the quarter to seize an 85-81 advantage, holding Cleveland to 12 consecutive empty possessions.

Curry finished 15 of 27 from the field, 9 of 16 beyond the arc and 1 of 1 from the foul line. He increased his NBA-best scoring average to 29.5.

Nemanja Bjelica added 14 points, Andrew Wiggins had 12 points and Draymond Green had four points and 14 rebounds for Golden State. The Warriors improved to 13-2. They have won nine straight over the Cavaliers and are 17-1 against them since January 2017.

Darius Garland scored a season-high 25 points as the injury-plagued Cavaliers dropped to 9-8. They took an 81-68 lead into the fourth after Dean Wade batted in a layup as time expired in the third.

76ERS 103, NUGGETS 89

DENVER (AP) — Tyrese Maxey scored 22 points, Seth Curry added 20 and short-handed Philadelphia beat Denver to snap a five-game losing streak.

Playing without Joel Embiid and three other regulars, the 76ers held Nikola Jokic to three points in the second half on a night when enraged Nuggets coach Michael Malone was ejected and had to be restrained by Jokic after charging onto the court as the Philadelphia took control in the third quarter.

Jokic had 30 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists before leaving the court for the locker room late in the fourth quarter. Will Barton returned from a back injury to finish with 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Denver.

Embiid missed his sixth straight game after entering the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols.


MIAMI (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 32 points and Miami beat Washington for its fourth straight victory.

The teams will meet again Saturday night in Washington.

Butler shot 11 of 19 from the field and made all 10 of his free throws in his second consecutive outing over 30 points. Bam Adebayo added 20 points, Gabe Vincent had 18 points and P.J. Tucker 15. The Heat improved to 11-5.

Bradley Beal scored 30 points for Washington, and Kyle Kuzma added 19 points. The Wizards have lost two straight to drop to 10-5.


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Rudy Gay hit five 3-pointers and scored 20 points in his season debut to help Utah beat Toronto,

Gay also had five rebounds while playing just 18 minutes. He missed Utah's first 14 games while recovering from offseason surgery on his right heel.

Donovan Mitchell also scored 20 points, and Royce O'Neale added a season-high 16. Rudy Gobert had 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Gary Trent Jr. scored a season-high 31 points for Toronto, and Fred VanVleet added 24. Toronto lost for the sixth time in seven games.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and 12 rebounds to help Minnesota beat San Antonio.

D'Angelo Russell added 22 points, and Malik Beasley hit five of Minnesota's season-high 21 3-pointers for all 15 of his points.

Devin Vassell scored 18 points for San Antonio. The Spurs have lost four in a row.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.