MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jonas Valanciunas and Dillon Brooks scored 19 points each, Valanciunas added 15 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Golden State Warriors 111-103 on Saturday night, splitting the two-game set between the teams.
Brandon Clarke added 16 points, and Ja Morant had 14 points and eight assists, including six points in Memphis' closing 10-3 run.
Jordan Poole led the Warriors with 26 points, connecting on 10 of 21 shots. Andrew Wiggins, who had 40 in Golden State’s 116-103 victory Friday night, added with 20.
The Warriors, already short-handed without guard Stephen Curry and frontline players James Wiseman and Eric Pascall, were dealt another setback with the absence of Kevon Looney. Looney, who played well against Valanciunas on Friday, was the latest to fall under the league’s health and safety protocol.
Looney’s absence left second-year 6-foot-10 forward Alen Smailagic to start and guard Valanciunas.
The Warriors led 100-99 with 2:43 left on Poole 3-pointer, but Memphis answered with eight straight points, Morant scoring on an 8-footer to start the rally and connecting a couple of free throws to seal the win with 20.7 seconds remaining.
Whether from stout defence or fatigue from the second night of the back-to-back, neither team shot well in the first half, both connecting on less than 38%. The Grizzlies added eight turnovers to their problems as the Warriors led 51-49 at the break.
Warriors: C Kevon Looney was the latest player to be out under the league’s health and safety protocol. Looney joins other frontline players James Wiseman and Eric Paschall under the protocol. Alen Smailagic started in Looney’s place, playing in only his third game of the season. … Smailagic scored his first points on a 3-pointer 19 seconds into the game. … Poole started his second game of the season in Curry’s spot.
Grizzlies: Memphis had been held under 104 points in four of the last five games. …F Justise Winslow, who returned from injury on Feb. 20, was available for the first time on the second game of a back-to-back. … F Kyle Anderson had a four-point play in the first quarter – the first of his NBA career. … Morant passed Shane Battier for 13th on franchise assists list. Battier had 717. … Tied a season high with 60 rebounds.
NO FIRM RETURN FOR CURRY
Curry made the trip to Memphis, but was not active for either game. Coach Steve Kerr said because Curry has not done anything basketball-wise since the Wednesday night injury in Houston, the return includes everything from rest to game tolerance to strength and conditioning. “Our training staff is all over it,” Kerr said. “When he’s ready, he’ll be back.”
Warriors: Host Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Grizzlies: Host Boston on Monday night.
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Clay Bailey, The Associated Press