The Memphis Grizzlies, led by Jaren Jackson Jr.' s 27 points, rallied from a 19-point deficit to hand the San Antonio Spurs their eighth consecutive loss with a 120-108 triumph on Saturday night. The Grizzlies' performance was nothing short of inspirational, particularly given the absence of key players including Ja Morant, Marcus Smart, Luke Kennard, Brandon Clarke, and Steven Adams.
Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins emphasized the team's capability and the need for collective responsibility, a mindset that clearly paid dividends as the game progressed. Despite being short-handed, Memphis showcased their depth and determination, especially in the final quarter where they outscored the Spurs 33-14, marking their largest comeback of the season.
Standout Performances and a Dominant Fourth Quarter
Desmond Bane contributed significantly with 26 points, while Santi Aldama and Ziaire Williams added 17 each, underscoring the Grizzlies' well-rounded team effort. Jackson, reflecting on the victory, noted, "Everybody was stepping up.
They’ve been doing that for weeks and we just clicked tonight in the second half. Big plays down the stretch and big shots by everybody." The Spurs, led by rookie Victor Wembanyama with 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Keldon Johnson's 22 points, struggled to maintain their lead.
Despite entering the fourth quarter ahead, San Antonio could not stave off the relentless Grizzlies. The game's momentum shifted dramatically in Memphis' favor during the third quarter, initiated by John Konchar's layup following a steal near midcourt.
Memphis' impressive 24-5 run in the fourth quarter, highlighted by a key layup from Bane and Jackson's 10 points during the run, turned the game around. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich reflected on his team's difficulties in sustaining physicality and offensive consistency, leading to their repeated losses.
Jackson's approach in the second half, especially against the towering 7-foot-3 Wembanyama, was pivotal. Despite early foul trouble, Jackson returned with vigor, going 3 for 12 from the field and 11 for 12 on free throws, a strategy that proved effective in shifting the game's dynamics.