Short-handed Grizzlies snap Suns’ nine-game winning streak
Dillon Brooks scored 30 points and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Phoenix Suns 122-114 on Friday night in a matchup of the NBA’s top two teams, extending their winning streak to seven.
Brooks converted a three-point play with 32 seconds left for an eight-point lead and the short-handed Grizzlies held on to snap the Suns’ nine-game winning streak. Ziaire Williams scored 19 points for Memphis and De’Anthony Melton added 17, including six straight free throws in the final 20 seconds.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 41 points, while Mikal Bridges added 18. Cameron Payne finished with 11 for Phoenix.
The Suns have clinched the top seed and the Grizzlies the second spot in the Western Conference. Memphis secured its seed with Wednesday’s win at San Antonio and took the opportunity Friday to let some players relieve soreness or manage previous injuries.
In addition to leading scorer Ja Morant, who has missed the last seven games with a sore right knee, guard Desmond Bane (left ankle soreness), center Steven Adams (left calf soreness), Tyus Jones (left hand soreness) and forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (right thigh injury management), all took the night off.
PELICANS 114, LAKERS 111
LOS ANGELES (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 32 points, Brandon Ingram added 29 against his former team and New Orleans spoiled Anthony Davis’ return from injury with another fourth-quarter rally in a victory over Los Angeles.
Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the ninth-place Pelicans, who won for the sixth time in eight games while dealing the second major blow in five days to the Lakers’ hopes of squeaking into the play-in tournament.
New Orleans beat Los Angeles 116-108 at home last weekend after rallying from a 23-point deficit, and the Pelicans swept the season series with this comeback on the road.
LeBron James missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer and scored just two of his 38 points in the fourth quarter for the Lakers (31-46), who have lost five straight and 15 of 19 to fall one game behind 10th-place San Antonio (32-45), which holds the tiebreaker.
CLIPPERS 153, BUCKS 119
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Robert Covington scored a career-high 43 points and shot 11 of 18 from 3-point range to help hot-shooting Los Angeles trounce Milwaukee as each team rested its top players.
Amir Coffey also had a career high with 32 points for the Clippers, matching a career high with seven assists to go along with six rebounds. The Clippers shot 60.9% from the floor and 23 of 43 from 3-point range in the highest-scoring game in franchise history.
Both teams had played Thursday night games that reached overtime, with the Bucks winning 120-119 at Brooklyn and the Clippers falling 135-130 at Chicago. The only starter from those two games who played at all Friday was Clippers center Ivica Zubac.
Among the players sitting out Friday’s game were Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, and the Clippers’ Paul George, Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris.
CELTICS 128, PACERS 123
BOSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 32 points and Jayson Tatum had 31 to help Boston stop a rare late-season stumble and beat Indiana.
The Pacers lost their sixth straight game despite getting 30 points from Tyrese Haliburton before he fouled out early in the fourth quarter with Indiana trailing 103-101. The Pacers kept it close, down 124-120 when Al Horford found Tatum coming down the lane for a dunk that all but sealed Boston’s win.
Horford scored 17 points with 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who had won 24 of 28 games before losing to Toronto on Monday night without four of their starters. They followed it up with a loss to Miami on Wednesday — the first time they lost back-to-back games in two months as they climbed from below .500 to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
Oshae Brissett and Jalen Smith scored 17 points apiece for the Pacers.
TIMBERWOLVES 136, NUGGETS 130
DENVER (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns scored 32 points and Minnesota overcame Nikola Jokic’s 38-point, 19-rebound performance in a win over Denver.
D’Angelo Russell added 24 points and Anthony Edwards scored half of his 18 points on a trio of clutch 3-pointers in the closing minutes to help the Wolves fend off Denver’s comeback.
Jokic also had eight assists, two shy of a triple-double. Aaron Gordon scored 24, including a reverse alley-oop dunk, and Monte Morris had 23.
The Timberwolves (44-34) still are long shots to avoid a play-in scenario but they gave themselves a shot by taking three of four in the season series with Denver (46-32), which fell a half-game behind Utah in the Northwest Division.
SPURS 130, TRAIL BLAZERS 111
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Devin Vassell had 22 points, Keldon Johnson added 21 points and San Antonio maintained its hold on 10th place in the Western Conference by defeating Portland.
Dejounte Murray, San Antonio’s All-Star point guard, was a late scratch due to a non-COVID-19 upper respiratory illness.
The Spurs had eight players score in double figures, including Zach Collins with 15 points and career-high five assists against his former team.
Portland, which lost its sixth straight, was led by 20 points from Keon Johnson. Brandon Williams had 17 points for Portland.
WIZARDS 135, MAVERICKS 103
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kristaps Porzingis had 24 points and nine rebounds in his first game against his former team, helping Washington defeat Dallas.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a season-high 35 points and Rui Hachimura added 21 for Washington, which won for the fourth time in five games despite being eliminated from playoff contention a day earlier.
Luka Doncic had 36 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Dallas, which fell a half-game behind Golden State for third place in the Western Conference. Jalen Brunson had 21 points for the Mavericks, who have already clinched a playoff berth, but fell short of moving 20 games over .500 for the first time since their 2010-11 title season.
RAPTORS 102, MAGIC 89
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes scored 19 points apiece, Pascal Siakam added 16 points and 11 rebounds and Toronto beat Orlando for its fifth straight win.
Gary Trent Jr. finished with 17 points for Toronto, which took advantage of 21 Orlando turnovers.
Mo Bamba had 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for the Magic, who lost their fifth straight.
KINGS 122, ROCKETS 117
HOUSTON (AP) — Harrison Barnes scored 25 points, and Sacramento beat Houston for the second time in three days.
For Sacramento, Damian Jones had 17 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks, Donte DiVincenzo had 19, and Chimezie Metu had 18. Barnes made 10 of 16 from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range.
Houston rookie Jalen Green scored a career-high 33 points and had six 3-pointers. He was coming off a 32-point night on Wednesday and topped 20 points for a fifth straight game.
PISTONS 110, THUNDER 101
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Killian Hayes scored a career-high 26 points and Frank Jackson also had 26 to lead Detroit over Oklahoma City in a matchup of teams near the bottom of the NBA standings.
In the second night of a back-to-back, Pistons regulars Cade Cunningham, Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey started the game, but did not play after the midway point of the first quarter.
Theo Maledon led the Thunder with 28 points. Jaylen Hoard, called up Friday from the G-League, scored 11 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in his first career NBA start.