Friday, March 24, 2023
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NBA Preview: Memphis Grizzlies (41-27) at San Antonio Spurs (18-51)

When the Memphis Grizzlies travel to San Antonio on Friday to play, they will want to get back on the winning track and keep fighting for second place in the Western Conference.

After losing 138-119 to Miami on Wednesday, the Grizzlies (41-27) ended their three-game winning streak.

Memphis was led by Jaren Jackson Jr., who scored 25 points, Luke Kennard, who scored 14, Ziaire Williams, who scored 12, and Tyus Jones and Desmond Bane, who scored 11 points each. Midway through the third quarter, Bane was called for a Flagrant 2 foul.

Memphis played without Ja Morant, who was suspended, Steven Adams, who had a knee injury, and Brandon Clarke, who had a torn Achilles. Through the first six games of Morant’s eight-game suspension, the Grizzlies are 3-3.

At the half, the Grizzlies were down 12 points, and in the third, they gave up 42 points. After they pulled their starters, they never came close the rest of the way. Memphis has won only two of its beyond 14 street games and is 13-22 away from home.

Although the tiebreaker belongs to Sacramento, Memphis and Sacramento are tied for second place in the West, 4 1/2 games behind Denver.

On Wednesday, the undermanned Spurs (18-51) let one go, falling to Dallas 137-128 in overtime at home after leading for much of the fourth quarter. Keldon Johnson missed two free tosses with 1.7 seconds staying in guideline. He made up for that mistake by scoring an alley-oop dunk on an inbounds pass from Malaki Branham just before the timer ran out to send the game into overtime.

In overtime, San Antonio scored the first bucket, but then gave up the next 11 points. San Antonio was defeated by a Dallas team without injured players Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and Tim Hardaway Jr. for the second time in three games. Johnson scored 27 points to lead San Antonio. Branham added 20, Romeo Langford scored 17, Devonte’ Graham and Tre Jones hit for 13 every, Blake Wesley counted 11 and Sandro Mamukelashvili contributed 10 focuses in the misfortune.

San Antonio was playing the second round of a home one after the other and was missing Jeremy Sochan (right knee injury the executives), Zach Collins (left lower leg injury the board), Keita Bates-Diop (left Achilles irritation) and Devin Vassell (left knee injury the executives).

For the game on Friday, all four of those players should be available.

This season, Memphis has prevailed in all three meetings with the Spurs.

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