MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jonas Valanciunas scored a season-high 29 points and matched his season best with 20 rebounds to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 127-112 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
Ja Morant added 21 points and 10 assists for Memphis, while rookie Desmond Bane finished with a season-high 20 points, going 5 of 8 from 3-point range.
Bradley Beal scored 21 points for the Wizards but was 6 of 22 from the field, including only 1 of 8 from 3-point range. Russell Westbrook finished with 20 points, while Davis Bertans and Deni Avdija scored 13 apiece.
The game tipped off the second half of the season for both teams sitting outside of the playoff picture, looking to rally for a post-season spot.
Washington wanted to prevent Memphis from scoring in the paint but had little success with the strategy, as the Grizzlies collected 78 paint points.
The Grizzlies benefitted from some Washington shooting struggles in the early stages of the first half, building the lead to 19 points in the second quarter.
But the Wizards closed the half with a 21-7 rally to cut the deficit to 67-62 at the break.
That came with Beal, the NBA’s leading scorer, going 1 of 9 from the field in the half.
While the Wizards would make a second-half run, even taking the league on a couple of occasions. Memphis pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Wizards: Beal passed Phil Chenier for fourth on the Wizards' career steals list. Chenier had 667. … Beal has scored at least 33 points in four of the last six games. The only two he didn’t were against the Grizzlies, including 23 on March 2. … Bertans has made multiple 3-pointers in the last 19 games he has played.
Grizzlies: Have won four straight in the series, which Memphis now leads 28-21, its winningest record against any NBA team. … G Grayson Allen missed his fourth game under the league’s concussion protocol. Dillon Brooks has a steal in each of the last 13 games he’s played. …Valanciunas recorded his 21st double-double in 28 games played this season.
Wizards: Host the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
Grizzlies: Host the Denver Nuggets on Friday.
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Clay Bailey, The Associated Press