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Grizzlies down Suns in NBA West clash

Dillon Brooks scored 30 points as the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Phoenix Suns 122-114 in a match-up of the NBA’s top two teams, extending their winning streak to seven games.

Brooks converted a three-point play with 32 seconds left for an eight-point lead and the short-handed Grizzlies held on at home to snap the Suns’ nine-game winning streak.

“They outplayed us,” Suns coach Monty Williams said.

“That was the key to the game. Their approach and our approach were two totally different ZIP codes.”

Devin Booker led Phoenix (62-15) with 41 points, while Mikal Bridges added 18.

The Suns have clinched the top seed and the Grizzlies (55-23) second spot in the Western Conference.

In Milwaukee, Robert Covington scored a career-high 43 points and shot 11-of-18 from three-point range to help the Los Angeles Clippers (38-40) trounce the defending champion Bucks 153-119 as each team rested their top players.

Among the players sitting out for the East’s second-place Milwaukee (48-29) were Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, with Paul George, Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris missing for the Clippers.

The Boston Celtics held off the visiting Indiana Pacers 128-123 with Jaylen Brown scoring 32 points and Jayson Tatum 31.

Al Horford added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics (48-30), who sit a half-game behind the Bucks.

In LA, CJ McCollum scored 32 points and Brandon Ingram added 29 as the New Orleans Pelicans recorded a 114-11 victory over the Lakers.

Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the ninth-place Pels, who dealt the second major blow in five days to the Lakers’ hopes of squeaking into the play-in tournament.

LeBron James missed a three-pointer at the buzzer and scored just two of his 38 points in the fourth quarter for the Lakers (31-46), who have lost five straight.

“The big picture is that it was pretty much a must-win for us, and we didn’t get the job done,” James said.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a season-high 35 points and Kristaps Porzingis had 24 points and nine rebounds in helping the Washington Wizards upset the Dallas Mavericks 135-103.

Luka Doncic had 36 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Mavs (48-30), who fell a half-game behind the Golden State Warriors for third place in the West.

In Denver, Karl-Anthony Towns scored 32 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves overcame Nikola Jokic’s 38-point, 19-rebound performance in a 136-130 win over the Nuggets.

Jokic also had eight assists as Denver dropped to 46-32 while the Timberwolves (44-34) remain seventh in the West.

“I think we’ve shown multiple times we’re a playoff team and I think we also shown that we’re not a joke,” Towns said.

Elsewhere, there were wins for the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings, and Detroit Pistons.

– with Reuters

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