NEW YORK (AP) — Dillon Brooks scored 27 points, Ja Morant had 18 points and 10 assists, and the Memphis Grizzlies cruised to their fourth straight victory, beating the New York Knicks 127-106 on Wednesday night.
Tempers flared with 48 seconds left in regulation when Knicks guard Elfrid Payton knocked Memphis’ Jae Crowder into the first row after Crowder attempted a 3-pointer following the steal of an errant inbound pass by Julius Randle.
Crowder and New York’s Marcus Morris Sr. were ejected for instigating the fight. Payton was assessed a flagrant 2 foul, which carried an automatic ejection.
The victory put Memphis at .500 (24-24) for the first time in almost 13 months.
Jonas Valenciunas had 12 points and 13 rebounds and Crowder finished with 18 points and eight assists for the Grizzlies, who have won 11 of their last 13 games.
Randle had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Payton finished with 15 points and 11 assists for New York, which has lost seven of 10.
Coming off a home win over Denver on Tuesday night, Memphis distanced itself from New York by scoring seven straight points to start the third quarter for a 66-52 lead.
The Grizzlies increased their lead to 82-60 on three free throws with 6:62 left in the period after Knicks reserve guard Reggie Bullock protested a foul call as Morant went up for a shot and picked up a technical foul.
New York cut the lead 96-86 on a pair of free throws by Wayne Ellington to start the fourth quarter. Memphis then pulled away with a 7-0 spurt, moving out to a 103-86 lead on a layup by Jackson Jr. with 9:56 left in regulation.
Brooks finished the first half with 19 points, shooting 7 for 10 from the floor, to help the Grizzlies build a 59-52 lead at the end of the second quarter.
Grizzlies: The last time Memphis had a .500 record was Dec. 31, 2018, following a loss at Houston that evened their record at 18-18. The defeat was the second of six straight. … Each starter finished in double figures. Jaren Jackson Jr. added 10 points. … Reserve Brandon Clarke had 17 points.
Knicks: Marcus Morris scored 17 points.
Grizzlies: Visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.
Knicks: Visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
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