Holiday's game-winner lifts Bucks past Grizzlies
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jrue Holiday hit a baseline jumper with two seconds remaining and the Milwaukee Bucks escaped with a 112-111 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night in the final game for both teams before the All-Star break.
Rookie Desmond Bane had a final chance for the Grizzlies, but his 3-pointer hit the front of the rim, giving the Bucks their sixth victory in seven games.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, and Khris Middleton added 22 points and 10 rebounds. Holiday and Pat Connaughton finished with 15 points each, both connecting on key baskets in the final minute.
Ja Morant led Memphis with 35 points, 28 of them in the second half. Dillon Brooks finished with 23 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
A 3-pointer from Connaughton gave Milwaukee a 108-107 lead with 38 seconds. With 25.1 seconds left, Brooks was given a layup for Memphis after Antetokounmpo was called for goal tending, giving Memphis a 109-108 lead with 25.1 second remaining.
Middleton’s two free throws gave the lead back to Milwaukee, but Morant answered on a drive with 7.3 seconds left, setting the stage for Holiday’s winner from the left baseline.
A pestering Milwaukee defense caused shooting problems for Memphis in the first quarter as the Grizzlies stayed below 25% from the floor. A 15-point Bucks lead in the quarter, extended to 18 in the second as Milwaukee continued shooting at a better-than-50% clip.
Meanwhile, Valanciunas and Morant, Memphis’ leading scorers were a combined 1 of 13 to start the game.
Memphis was able to pick up the shooting pace enough to bring it to single-digit deficit before the Bucks carried a 61-51 lead at the break.
Still, despite the shooting woes, Memphis made a third-quarter run to pull even at 84 heading into the fourth quarter. Morant got untracked to score 16 in the period.
Bucks: Final contest of a seven-game stretch against the Western Conference. Milwaukee finishes 6-1 in the run. … With a dunk near the 4-minute mark of the first quarter, Antetokounmpo passed Sidney Moncrief (11,594) for third place on Milwaukee’s career scoring list.
Grizzlies: The one-point margin ended a stretch of 18 straight games where Memphis games were decided by at least nine points. That matched the longest in NBA history. …Grayson Allen missed his third game under concussion protocol. … Morant started the game 0 for 8, missing his first six shots from beyond the arc.
Bucks: At New York on Thursday, March 11
Grizzlies: Host Washington on Wednesday night.
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