Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 24 points and Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant added 22 each, as the surging Memphis Grizzlies played their best basketball in the fourth quarter and defeated the visiting San Antonio Spurs 134-121 on Friday.
The victory, Memphis’ fourth straight, allowed the Grizzlies to leapfrog the Spurs into eighth place in the Western Conference standings as the NBA season nears its midway point.
The Grizzlies led by two after three quarters and by 116-113 after San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge’s 3-pointer with 6:28 to play. Memphis then pulled away, as Brooks hit two shots from beyond the arc and Jackson added a third to push the Grizzlies’ advantage to 125-113.
Jonas Valanciunas totaled 21 points, Morant also had 14 assists, and De’Anthony Melton and Brandon Clarke scored 13 and 10 points, respectively, for Memphis. The Grizzlies play their next four games at home and eight of their next 11 games are against teams with losing records.
DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 36 points for the Spurs while Aldridge and Bryn Forbes had 21 points each and Rudy Gay added 13 points for San Antonio.
The Spurs had a two-game win streak snapped. San Antonio has not won three straight games since starting the season 3-0 and has won back-to-back games only twice.
Friday night’s game in Memphis was the second of four in a row on the road for the Spurs.
Memphis led for all but a minute of the first half, by as many as 15 points midway through the second quarter and took a 63-57 advantage into intermission.
Jackson and Valanciunas had 11 points over the first 24 minutes to lead Memphis, which hit 8 of 18 3-point attempts (44.4 percent) in the half as compared to 7 of 24 (29.2 percent) for the Spurs
DeRozan and Aldridge paced the Spurs with 13 points each in the half, and Aldridge grabbed six rebounds before halftime.
The Grizzlies held onto the lead throughout the third quarter, although San Antonio scored the final seven points of the period to pull to within 100-98 entering the final 12 minutes.
—Field Level Media