Grizzlies rally from 29 down, stun Spurs in OT
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 28 points and the Memphis Grizzlies completed the largest comeback in franchise history after trailing by 29 in the third quarter, rallying to beat the San Antonio Spurs 126-120 in overtime Friday night.
Memphis faced a nine-point deficit in the final minute of regulation before outscoring San Antonio 9-0 to send it to overtime.
“We came in at halftime, regrouped, talked about it,” Jackson said. “Just came out firing (in the second half). You chip away long enough, you’re going to make some noise.”
Desmond Bane added 21 points, including eight points in overtime, and Tyus Jones had his first career triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Grizzlies.
The huge comeback win came as Ja Morant nears his return for Memphis. The All-Star guard missed his seventh game as part of an eight-game suspension for “conduct detrimental to the league.” Memphis improved to 4-3 without Morant.
Devin Vassell had 25 points and Zach Collins added 24 for San Antonio, which fell to 0-5 in overtime this season after being outscored 63-40 in the second half.
“We have been competitive all year,” Collins said. “We shouldn’t have lost that game. We were up 30, we shouldn’t have lost.”
After trailing by 29, Memphis tied it at 109 on a 3-pointer by Dillon Brooks with 1.8 seconds remaining in regulation. Vassell’s desperation 36-foot heave did not reach the rim as regulation ended.
Brooks finished with 16 points, while going 4 for 8 on 3-pointers.
“Our defense really clamped down down the stretch where we were trying to keep them off the boards," Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. "Couple of tough bounces, but we came up with enough plays down the stretch.”
San Antonio was without key reserves Doug McDermott (bruised right hip), Devonte’ Graham (sore left quadriceps) and Romeo Langford (managing injured left adductor) and lost Jeremy Sochan after eight minutes. Memphis was without Steven Adams and Brandon Clark.
“We got a little thin,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “And down the stretch, they made shots, they made three 3s in a row, give them credit for that. Great game, though. Learned a lot to compete as hard as we did. Proud of them. Did a good job.”
The Grizzlies called two timeouts within 37 seconds midway through the first quarter following a 3-pointer by Collins and another by Vassell.
“Really started at halftime,” Jenkins said. “We didn’t watch any film. I just opened up the floor to the players to talk and said, ‘What do you got for me?’ Four or five guys spoke up and said it was unacceptable what we were doing in the first half.
"We were too casual, we weren’t communicating, we weren’t executing our coverages, we weren’t playing with physicality, we weren’t trusting the pass.”
The Spurs shot 12 for 24 on 3-pointers in the first half in building a 25-point lead.
San Antonio shot 31% from the field in the second half, including 6 for 20 on 3-pointers, while committing 14 turnovers.
Brooks and Jackson combined for 26 points in the second half.
TIP-INS Grizzlies: Memphis has won 10 straight against San Antonio with its last loss to the Spurs on Dec. 23, 2020, 131-119.
Spurs: Sochan fouled Jackson with 2:01 remaining in the first quarter and motioned to the bench for a substitute. Sochan left for the locker room and returned with 7:32 remaining to tell Popovich about his injury. ... San Antonio has led by 25 points in three games this season.
San Antonio honored Jaren Jackson Sr. after the first quarter as part of its season-long 50th Anniversary celebration.
“I wanted to allow myself to play in this game (and) play well,” Jackson Jr. said. “I knew he was here. Probably was the tiniest bit nervous if I was ever for a regular-season game just because you want to remember this day."
Spurs fans gave a loud and long ovation following a video highlighting Jackson’s four seasons with San Antonio, which included winning an NBA title in 1999. Jackson Jr. shared a long embrace with his father near midcourt during the ovation.
Jackson had his father’s No. 2 jersey from the Spurs in his bag following the game, which he intends to keep.
“Do I have any? (No,) he has them,” Jackson Jr. said. “This is mine. I’m going to go out there and get it signed by him.”
Grizzlies: Host Golden State on Saturday.
Spurs: Host Atlanta on Sunday. —
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