The Memphis Grizzlies needed big showings by multiple players Thursday to keep their season alive. And that’s exactly what they got.
The Grizzlies (34-39) pulled off a 119-106 upset of the Milwaukee Bucks (56-17) in their final regular season game of the NBA restart, paced by two triple-double performances and a 31-point outing.
Jonas Valanciunas totaled 26 points, 19 rebounds and 12 assists, while rookie Ja Morant finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and three assists. Dillon Brooks scored 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting, including a 4-of-7 mark on 3-pointers.
It was the first time in Grizzlies history that two players notched triple-doubles in one game.
Memphis led by just one point, 22-21, at the end of the first quarter, then scored 38 points in the second period to head into halftime with a 60-50 advantage. The Grizzlies then used a 33-point third quarter and a 26-point fourth to ultimately emerge on top.
The Bucks were without superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who served a one-game suspension by the NBA for head-butting the Washington Wizards’ Moe Wagner.
Their victory over the Bucks was a positive moment in an NBA restart that hasn’t seen many for the Grizzlies. Memphis had lost six of its seven Orlando bubble games before Thursday.
With the win, the Grizzlies clinched a berth in the play-in tournament for the No. 8-seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The play-in games start Saturday.