Jackson scores 28, including winner in final seconds, as Grizzlies top Wembanyama, Spurs, 99-97

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 28 points, including the winning basket with 1.2 seconds left, and the undermanned Memphis Grizzlies overcame 31 points and 16 rebounds from Victor Wembanyama to snap a four-game skid with a 99-97 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.

“Absolute composure,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “Great poise from him and his teammates as well. I thought the spacing was pretty good on that possession. We wanted the last shot and he pretty much got it right there at the end.”

After going 5 for 35 on 3-pointers, San Antonio made consecutive 3s in seven seconds to tie the game at 97-all with 18.8 seconds remaining. After Devin Vassell hit the first 3-pointer, Jeremy Sochan stole the inbounds and Tre Jones hit the tying 3.

Jackson drained a seven-foot jumper that won the game.

“Shoot, I just kind of blacked out and got to the spot I needed,” Jackson said. “Saw the clock for a second, didn’t check back because I knew if I looked again, I would get it stolen. I just wanted to get to a certain spot on the floor and raise up over him.”

Jackson could only watch as Wembanyama missed a fadeaway 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

“When he turned, I was like, there is not much I can do here because he’s going to shoot it from here, Jackson said as he stretched out his right arm and got on his toes. "Don’t foul him.”

It was Wembanyama’s 38th double-double in 62 games this season. With his three blocked shots, Wembanyama joined Phoenix’s Alvan Adams as the only rookies in league history with multiple games of 30 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and three blocks.

“Actually, I remember having a thought in the first half that when we were up by a lot, I didn’t put the nail in the coffin,” Wembanyama said. “This is how I felt. I wanted to have a reaction because it doesn’t matter who is in front of us, we have to be the same way, to be as aggressive.”

Scotty Pippen Jr. added 18 points and Santi Aldama had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Memphis.

Vassell had 27 points and Jones finished with 16 for San Antonio.

“If you hold a team to 99, you should win a lot of games,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “But if you give up 20 points on turnovers and shoot 18% (on 3-pointers), it’s going to make it tough on you. End of story. It had nothing to do with a play here, a play there. It’s about the whole thing together."

With the loss, San Antonio dropped to 15-55 and must win at least five of its final 12 games to avoid finishing with the worst record in franchise history — 20-62 set in 1997.

Memphis’ Desmond Bane sat out with a sore back, joining an injury list that includes Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke, Luke Kennard, Derrick Rose, and Marcus Smart.

Even with all those players out, the Grizzlies were still captured their 13th straight victory over the Spurs.

“Obviously the results haven’t gone our way for the great majority of the season,” Jenkins said. “But it hasn’t deterred the guys from coming in whether it’s at home or on the road, especially on the road when it’s stacked against you.”

Memphis was forced to use its 43rd starting lineup this season and it led to a sluggish start.

Memphis was 12 for 34 on 3-pointers, after going 18 for 49 in a 137-116 loss to Golden State on Wednesday.

The Spurs held the Grizzlies to 23.8% shooting and led by 14 in the opening quarter.

Wembanyama whipped a behind-the-back pass to Vassell, who hot a 13-foot, fadeaway jumper four minutes into the game.

Vassell delivered an assist with a minute remaining in the quarter, lobbing the ball on the break for an alley-oop dunk from Johnson.

The Spurs negated that with their worst second quarter this season. San Antonio scored a season-low 14 points in the period while shooting 26.1% from the field.

Jaren Jackson, Aldama and G.G. Jackson combined for 18 of Memphis’ 25 points in the second quarter.


Grizzlies: At Denver on Monday night.

Spurs: Host Phoenix on Saturday night.


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