MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant had 24 points, eight assists and seven rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies used a third-quarter burst to beat the Dallas Mavericks 133-104 on Tuesday night.
Dillon Brooks added 22 points and John Konchar had a season-high 18 for the Grizzlies. Kyle Anderson scored 15 points, including 10 in the key third quarter as Memphis continues to try and move up in the Western Conference standings.
While both teams are in the postseason, they still can improve their seedings. Memphis, which earned a spot in the play-in tournament with Monday night’s win over New Orleans, still has a chance to move up to eighth.
The Mavericks, who are on the cusp of claiming the sixth spot in the West, will have to wait before clinching a spot to avoid the Western Conference’s play-in tournament.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Mavericks with 19 points, while Willie Cauley-Stein finished with a season-high 16 points. Jalen Brunson scored 15, while leading scorer Luka Doncic managed 12 points but was 4 of 16 from the floor and missed all four of his 3-point attempts.
Memphis outscored the Mavericks 36-25 in the third quarter to take a 96-82 lead entering the fourth. Anderson keyed the rally hitting his first five shots in the quarter and Morant scored 11 in the frame.
That lead would swell to 104-82 with 10 minutes left and Dallas coach Rick Carlisle pulled his starters, spelling the end of the Mavericks four-game winning streak.
Both teams were playing without key frontline players. Jonas Valanciunas sat out with a sore back for Memphis, while Jaren Jackson continued to take periodic games off under left knee surgery recovery.
Meanwhile, Kristaps Porzingis missed his seventh straight game for Dallas with right knee soreness.
Brooks connected on a 3-pointer at the end of the first half to provide Memphis a 60-57 lead at intermission. Hardaway had 15 in the half for Dallas, including connecting on 3 of 5 from outside the arc.
Morant had 11 in the first quarter and 13 in the half to lead Memphis.
Mavericks: Dwight Powell was ejected from the game after he struck Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke in the head on a block attempt in the fourth quarter. …Porzingis participated in pregame warmups before the game but was previously ruled out. Coach Rick Carlisle, as he discussed Monday, said the 7-foot-3 C/F is “targeted to play (Wednesday)”, when Dallas faces New Orleans. … Cauley-Stein started his fifth straight game. Cauley-Stein’s previous high this season was 15 points against Houston on Jan. 4. …Hardaway connected on his 200th 3-pointer of the season. Of the three seasons, Dallas has a player make 200 3-pointers, Hardaway has two of them. …G JJ Redick left the game in the second quarter with right heel soreness and did not return.
Grizzlies: Rookie Xavier Tillman started his 11th game of the season filling in for Valanciunas. … Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said of Valanciunas: “Just got a little back soreness, and we want to take advantage of him getting healthy. It’s nothing serious.” Jenkins expects Valanciunas and Jackson available for Thursday’s game against Sacramento.
Mavericks: Host the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.
Grizzlies: Entertain Sacramento on Thursday in the first of back-to-back games with the Kings.
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