Grizzlies take advantage of George's absence to top Clippers

Memphis Grizzlies' Ja Morant (12) dunks against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LOS ANGELES — Jae Crowder scored 27 points and the Memphis Grizzlies took advantage of Los Angeles star Paul George's absence to rout the Clippers 140-114 on Saturday.

Jaren Jackson Jr. added 24 points, and Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks had 22 points each to help Memphis improve to 7-10 on the road with its highest scoring game of the season.

Montrezl Harrell led the Clippers with 28 points, and Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams added 24 points each. The team appeared out of sorts from the start without George. He sat out with left hamstring tightness and Los Angeles clearly missed his defense.

The usually stoic Leonard complained to the referees, who hit him with a technical after the halftime buzzer. Coach Doc Rivers stayed on court discussing it and was unhappy about other calls in the game.

The Grizzlies raced to an 18-point lead to open the game, highlighted by a 16-2 run that included four 3-pointers. By the time Williams made the Clippers' first 3-pointer late in the second, cutting their deficit to seven, the Grizzlies had already connected on 10 3s. Los Angeles never got closer.

RAPTORS 121, NETS 102

NEW YORK — Fred VanVleet had 29 points and 11 assists, Kyle Lowry scored 26 points and Toronto bounced back from its worst offensive performance of the season to beat slumping Brooklyn.

Serge Ibaka finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors. They were held to season lows for points and shooting in their 84-76 loss in Miami, when they hit just 31.5% overall and went 6 for 42 from 3-point range (14.3%.). Toronto made 13 3s and beat Brooklyn for the 17th time in 18 meetings.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 23 points for the Nets. They have lost five straight games.

CELTICS 111, BULLS 104

CHICAGO — Jayson Tatum scored 28 points, Gordon Hayward added 24 and Boston beat Chicago.

The Celtics hung on for their eighth win in nine games after a 16-point lead dwindled to three in the fourth quarter. Tatum hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute left to bump the lead to seven, and the Atlantic Division leaders came out on top after rallying from 18 down to beat Atlanta on Friday night.

Zach LaVine scored 35 points for Chicago.

WIZARDS 129, NUGGETS 114

WASHINGTON — Ish Smith scored a career-high 32 points and Troy Brown added 25 and a career-high 14 rebounds in Washington’s victory over Denver.

After Denver took a 101-99 lead with 9:33 left on Mason Plumlee's dunk, the Wizards scored the next 11 with the run eventually reaching 19-2 for a 118-103 lead with 4:48 remaining. Smith scored 11 points in that stretch, capping the surge with a 3-pointer.

Jamal Murray scored all 39 of his points after the first quarter for Denver. The Nuggets have lost two of three on their five-game trip.

JAZZ 109, MAGIC 96

ORLANDO, Fla. — Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points and Georges Niang added 15 off the bench to help Utah beat Orlando for its fifth straight victory.

Bojan Bogdanovic had 14 points, Emmanuel Mudiay scored 12 points and Joe Ingles had 11.

Terrence Ross led Orlando with 24 points. Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 11 rebounds.

THUNDER 121, CAVALIERS 106

CLEVELAND — Dennis Schroder scored 22 points, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 20 and Oklahoma City beat Cleveland to run its winning streak to five.

Danilo Gallinari added 19 points, hitting five 3-pointers, and Steven Adams grabbed 16 rebounds.

Collin Sexton scored 30 points for Cleveland.

HAWKS 116, PACERS 111

ATLANTA — Trae Young scored 30 of his 41 points in the first half, Kevin Huerter added a season-high 26 points and Atlanta beat Indiana after blowing a 22-point lead.

Domantas Sabonis had 25 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana. Justin Holiday added 18 points.

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