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Quick Recap: Grizzlies Defeat Spurs 120-108

Jan 25, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Ziaire Williams (8) dunks against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies (3-9) defeated the San Antonio Spurs (3-10) with a 19-point, come from behind victory. 

Memphis played a disastrous first half, giving San Antonio an immense amount of space to work with, and their shooters quickly got hot. The Grizzlies also played undisciplined defense, giving San Antonio double digit free throw attempts before the end of the second quarter. 

Size adjustments from Taylor Jenkins—such as starting Santi Aldama the second half—proved an excellent match for the length of the Spurs, and tighter defense began to turn off the tap. A late third quarter surge marked the turning point.

Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. led the way for the Grizzlies in the box score, with 26 points, six rebounds, and four assists for Bane. Jackson Jr. had 27 points, four rebounds, and one assist. 

Santi Aldama and Ziaire Williams had excellent contributions as well, combining for 34 points and 17 rebounds with solid defense to close the game. These additions were crucial for a team begging for bench contributions from their young players. 

Despite San Antonio’s unnatural length and advantages near the basket, Memphis managed to score 58 points in the paint to the Spurs’ 36. Constant downhill motion by Jackson Jr., Bane and Williams moved the ball inside-out, leaving Zach Collins and Victor Wembanyama in foul trouble for crucial minutes. Moreover, heavy ball pressure swung the turnover advantage in the Grizzlies’ favor, making up points in transition and offsetting the sloppy first half.

Despite the loss, Wembanyama played an excellent game that demonstrated his deserved hype. He had 19 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and eight blocks.

The Grizzlies return home tomorrow to face the Boston Celtics on the second night of a back-to-back, a tough test after an exhausting run to return from a large hole tonight. However, the Grizzlies can be comfortable off the back of a necessary win that demonstrated both a return to form, and a whole lot of fight.

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