MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — When Lou Williams missed a floater inthe closing seconds, Montrezl Harrell cleaned it up with a dunk to extend theLos Angeles Clippers’ winning streak.
Harrell’s rebound basket with 2.3 seconds left gave theClippers their seventh straight victory, 121-119 over the Memphis Grizzlies onWednesday night.
“I expected to make the shot, but I’m so happy … thathe was there for me,” said Williams, who had 24 points and 13 assists.
Memphis had one more chance to tie or take the lead, butJaren Jackson Jr.’s 3-point attempt from the right corner was blocked byMaurice Harkless.
Harrell and Williams contributed to another strong benchperformance from the Clippers, who lead the league with 51.7 points a game fromtheir reserves. Harrell matched Williams with 24 while also grabbing 10rebounds. Paul George added 22 points.
“It’s just fantastic,” Clippers coach Doc Riverssaid about having Harrell and Williams off his bench. “It’s like you havethe ultimate relief pitchers coming in the game”
“It’s come down to the point where, I think we kind ofknow each other and know kind of what each other wants to do. Each other’stendencies,” Harrell said of the reserves play, later adding: “We’vegot so many different lineups we can throw out there that we can succeedin.”
Playing the second night of a back-to-back on the road, LosAngeles forward Kawhi Leonard took the night off to with “injurymanagement” on his left knee.
Jonas Valanciunas had 30 points and 16 rebounds for Memphis,both season highs for the center. Jae Crowder and Ja Morant finished with 20points each, Morant also had 11 assists as the Grizzlies lost their fifthstraight.
Memphis, which trailed 92-88 entering the fourth, opened thefinal period on a 13-2 run. That gave Memphis its biggest lead of the game atthat point and led to Rivers calling a timeout after Crowder converted hissecond 3-pointer from the top of the key.
“We were just playing with energy,” said Grizzliesforward Jaren Jackson Jr., who finished with 17 points. “The bench came inand made a huge impact. Everyone was running in there and having fun again. Thedefense just led to the offense more.”
While Memphis’ lead reached 10 with just under 7 minutesleft, the Clippers had a 15-5 run to tie at 113. The teams exchange leads andthe game was tied at 119 before Harrell’s winning basket.
“I just try to keep playing, keep executing, just keepfighting all the way through,” Harrell said. “That’s what it is allabout, fighting all the way through to the very end. Leave it all out there.That’s all we can do.”
Clippers: Rodney McGruder started in Leonard’s spot, hissecond start of the season. McGruder would leave in the third quarter with aright lower leg injury. He did not return. … F Landry Shamet missed his ninthstraight game with a high left ankle sprain.
Grizzlies: F Kyle Anderson, who was listed as questionablebecause of right heel soreness, did not play. … The Clippers held Morant toone shot and no points in the first half. The rookie scored 14 points in thefourth. … Memphis challenged an out-of-bounds call in the fourth giving theball to the Clippers. After review, the call was overturned.
Memphis rookie Brandon Clarke, the 21st overall pick fromGonzaga, was 5 of 8 from the field and has made 60 of 88 over his last 10games, for 68% over the span. Clarke entered the game leading all rookies inshooting percentage for the season at 63.6%, which also ranks fifth overall.
“I just thought you let a team that hasn’t been winninghang around, they start to smell it. We talked about it before the game.Obviously, no one heard it.” — Rivers.
Clippers: At San Antonio on Friday night.
Grizzlies: Host Utah on Friday night.