100-96. The Grizzlies eliminate the Spurs and wait for the Lakers or the Warriors

Memphis (USA), May 19 (EFE) .- The forward Dillon Brooks scored 24 points this Wednesday and the Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas achieved a double-double of 23 points and 23 rebounds in the victory of the Memphis Grizzlies by 100 -96 to the San Antonio Spurs in the first game of the Western Conference play-in tournament.

The victory keeps alive the Grizzlies who will fight for eighth place in the playoffs in the third game of the play-in with the losing team that comes out of the duel that the Los Angeles Lakers, seventh, classified, and the Golden State dispute tonight Warriors.

The winner of the duel between Lakers and Warriors will go to the playoffs as the seventh seed.

The duel between the Grizzlies, who will be visitors, and the Lakers or Warriors will be played on Friday. Memphis is trying to break a streak of three straight seasons without a playoff spot, the same time that Spanish center Marc Gasol and point guard Mike Conley left.

The winner of the game will face the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs, which finished with the best record in the Western Conference and in the league.

The winner of the duel between Lakers and Warriors will face the Phoenix Suns.

The Spurs, with their loss, were eliminated from the playoffs for the second consecutive season, in what has been another failure of veteran coach Gregg Popovic’s rebuilding project.

Along with Brooks, who scored eight decisive goals in the fourth quarter, and Valanciunas, who set his best individual season records, point guard Ja Morant also excelled in the Grizzlies’ balanced attack with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists.

While power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. reached 10 points with four rebounds and four assists, being the fourth player for the Grizzlies, ninth at the end of the regular season, who had double-digit numbers.

Forward DeMar DeRozna and power forward Rudy Gay, who came off reserves, led the Spurs with 20 points each, but in the end they could never get the decisive goals and the Grizzlies were always in control of the scoreboard.

The Spurs, who lost the fifth straight game at the end of the season, also had point guard Dejounte Murray as the most complete player with his fifth triple-double with 10 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

Two other players, forward Keldon Johnson and Austrian center Jacob Poeltl contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively, with Spurs, who with 6 minutes and 55 seconds to go had the last advantage in the game (79-80) .

Then Brooks began his scoring streak with the Grizzlies and regained the lead for the Memphis team (85-83) without ever giving it up again the rest of the way.

The Grizzlies increased their FedExForum capacity to 40 percent and 7,019 fans were able to witness the first playoff game since the 2017 season when they also faced the Spurs.

Rapper Al Kapone performed outside during halftime and was shown on the video board with fans joining in to wave towels as he sang ‘Whoop That Trick’.

In five playoff series between these teams, the Spurs swept three of the four San Antonio won.

Memphis’ only win in the series came in 2011 as eighth seed, in what was the start of seven straight playoff seasons for the Grizzlies.

The next generation of the Grizzlies took over with a roster that was the second-youngest at the start of this season, led by Jackson Jr., the fourth pick from the college draft in 2018, along with Morant, the second-youngest of 2019 and current Rookie. of the Year of the NBA, who hope to reach the ‘playoffs’.

The Grizzlies led 38-19 after the first quarter, but Gay led the Spurs’ 22-3 streak and the San Antonio team hit the game to go into halftime seven points down (56-49).

The teams scored 16 points each in the third and the duel was closed until the final whistle of the horn.

(c) EFE Agency

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