Thunder beat Grizzlies 118-112, move into a tie with Denver atop the Western Conference standings

Sat, Mar 16, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Thunder beat Grizzlies 118-112, move into a tie with Denver atop the Western Conference standings

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Chet Holmgren had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Jalen Williams added 23 points and six assists and Oklahoma City held off the Memphis Grizzlies 118-112 on Saturday night to claim a share of first place in the Western Conference.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 20 points and Josh Giddey finished with 13. Oklahoma City's fifth win in six games pulled the Thunder even with idle Denver atop the West at 47-20.

Desmond Bane, playing in his first game since Jan. 12 due to injury, led the Grizzlies with 22 points and seven assists. Jaren Jackson Jr. and GG Jackson finished with 19 points apiece for Memphis, which lost its second straight and fourth in five games.

After a closely contested game early-on, the Thunder were able to create a bit of a buffer in the third, stretching the lead to 14 points while shooting 53% at that point for the game. They went on a 19-5 run in the final minutes of the frame.

Memphis fought back to within one possession early in the fourth, but another Oklahoma City run, fueled by a couple of Holmgren baskets inside, stretched the Thunder lead to double digits, twarting a Memphis comeback try.

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The Grizzlies got an offensive punch back as Bane, who averages 24.4 points and is one of the team's top 3-point shooters, returned after missing 29 games with a sprained left ankle. Also, Jackson, the team's third-leading scorer who averages 22.4 points, played after missing two games with right quadricep tendonitis.

The Thunder easily won the first two meetings between the teams this season, including a 124-93 decision on March 10.

UP NEXT

Thunder: Host Utah Jazz on Wednesday.

Grizzlies: Travel to Sacramento Kings on Monday.

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