Wed, 23 Sep 2020

Grizzlies beat Bucks to clinch play-in berth

Field Level Media
14 Aug 2020, 09:05 GMT+10

Jonas Valanciunas and Ja Morant each recorded a triple-double Thursday afternoon, helping the Memphis Grizzlies gain a spot in the NBA play-in game with a 119-106 victory over the Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA bubble.

Dillon Brooks led all scorers with 31 points for the Grizzlies (34-39), who clinched no worse than the ninth seed in the Western Conference.

Memphis will play either Portland or Phoenix on Saturday, with the opponent to be determined later Thursday night when the Trail Blazers meet the Brooklyn Nets.

The Bucks (56-17) had already clinched the top seed in the East. The playoffs begin Monday, and Milwaukee's opening-round opponent will be eighth-seeded Orlando.

The Bucks are expected to get Antetokounmpo back for the playoffs. He was suspended for one game for head-butting Washington's Moe Wagner on Tuesday.

After a tight first quarter that saw Memphis lead 22-21, the Grizzlies distanced themselves from the East's top team in the second and third periods.

Memphis took a 60-50 advantage into the break, then ran off by as many as 23 points in the third period before coasting home.

Valanciunas finished with 26 points, a game-high 19 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists for his first career triple-double. He had never previously had more than five assists in a game.

The 26 points matched his seventh-most of the season, while the 19 rebounds equaled his second-most.

Morant complemented Valanciunas' feat with his second triple-double of the season, going for 12 points, a career-high 13 rebounds and 10 assists.

Brandon Clarke and Kyle Anderson added 10 points apiece for the Grizzlies, who won for just the second time in eight games in the bubble.

Brook Lopez had team-highs in points with 19 and rebounds with nine for the Bucks, who suffered their fifth loss since the restart in eight games.

Frank Mason III accumulated 18 points to complement a team-high eight assists, while Donte DiVincenzo had 17 points, Khris Middleton 14 and D.J. Wilson 12 for Milwaukee, which was out-shot 50.0 percent to 39.4.

--Field Level Media

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