LOS ANGELES (AP) – Jae Crowder scored 27 points and the Memphis Grizzlies took advantage of Los Angeles star Paul George’s absence to rout the Clippers 140-114 on Saturday.
Jaren Jackson Jr. added 24 points, and Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks had 22 points each to help Memphis improve to 7-10 on the road with its highest scoring game of the season.
Montrezl Harrell led the Clippers with 28 points. Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams added 24 points each. The team appeared out of sorts from the start without George. He sat out with left hamstring tightness and Los Angeles clearly missed his defense.
The usually stoic Leonard complained to the referees, who hit him with a technical after the halftime buzzer. Coach Doc Rivers stayed on court discussing it and was unhappy about other calls in the game.
The Grizzlies raced to an 18-point lead to open the game, highlighted by a 16-2 run that included four 3-pointers – three coming on consecutive possessions.
By the time Williams made the Clippers’ first 3-pointer late in the second, cutting their deficit to seven, the Grizzlies had already connected on 10 3s. Los Angeles never got closer.
Crowder scored 14 points in the third, making two late 3-pointers that helped extend the Grizzlies’ lead to 104-80 going into the fourth. Crowder tied career highs with six 3-pointers and seven assists.
The Clippers made a brief run in the fourth behind Harrell and Williams, using 10 straight points to close to 110-94. But Jackson took over from there, scoring 12 points down the stretch.
The Clippers’ two-game winning streak ended. They haven’t won three in a row since Dec. 9-13.
Leonard sat out the teams’ first meeting Nov. 27, a two-point road win for the Clippers.
Grizzlies: They’ve had four straight games with at least 30 assists, setting a franchise record. It was their 14th game with that many assists, setting a single-season franchise mark. … They are 6-5 on the road against the West.
Clippers: It’s possible George could return Sunday against the Knicks in another day game. … Patrick Beverley missed his third straight game with a sprained right wrist, but is close to being back.
NIGHTTIME IS THE RIGHT TIME
Rivers says he â€œhatesâ€ day games. The Clippers have seven more 12:30 p.m. starts this season, but none occur back-to-back like this weekend.
â€œIt disrupts your whole day, especially if you’re the home team. You don’t eat lunch at the same time and it makes everything inconsistent,â€ he said. “I much prefer to play at night and I believe all of the players do as well.”
Grizzlies: Visit Phoenix on Sunday in the second game of a back-to-back to conclude a three-game trip.
Clippers: Host the New York Knicks on Sunday in the second game of a rare daytime back-to-back.
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