Sports

Grizzlies pull away for victory over Clippers


Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) reacts during the second half against the LA Clippers at FedExForum.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) reacts during the second half against the LA Clippers at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant compiled 28 points, five rebounds and five assists and Brandon Clarke keyed a fourth-quarter run that powered the Memphis Grizzlies to a 120-108 defeat of the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

Clarke scored 10 of his 14 points off the bench in the fourth quarter, including eight straight Memphis points during a 15-2 run in the early period that blew the game open.

The Grizzlies pushed the lead to as many as 23 points in the final period. Los Angeles could cut the deficit to no fewer than 12 points.

Four of the five Grizzlies starters scored in double figures. In addition to Morant, Dillon Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr. both finished with 18 points, and Desmond Bane added 16.

Clarke’s effort led a 38-point night from the Memphis reserves.

Los Angeles got 42 points from its bench, led by 15 and 11 from Luke Kennard and Isaiah Hartenstein.

Paul George led all Los Angeles players with 23 points, Reggie Jackson added 18 points with five assists, and Ivica Zubac had 13 points and seven rebounds.

Memphis dominated Los Angeles in the paint, outscoring the Clippers on the interior 74-36.

The Grizzlies’ inside attack translated to a 54.2 percent field-goal rate. Memphis went 11 of 26 (42.3 percent) from 3-point range, keyed by Jackson’s 3-of-7 shooting. Los Angeles hit 46.7 percent from the floor, 41 percent from long distance.

Memphis began to gain separation in the third quarter when, holding a one-possession lead, Morant scored 10 points in a stretch lasting about three minutes. The Grizzlies extended their advantage to nine points by the end of the third quarter, setting the stage for their game-changing, fourth-quarter run.

The Grizzlies have won back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 1-3. They dropped three straight before blowing out the Houston Rockets 136-102 on Monday.

After winning seven straight games, the Clippers have dropped two of their past three.

Field Level Media

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