Morant returns, Grizzlies top 76ers 106-104 for 4th straight

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant returned to the Memphis lineup after missing eight games with an ankle injury and scored 17 points, leading the Grizzlies to a 106-104 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

Morant, who sprained his left ankle Dec. 28 at Brooklyn, added six assists. Rookie Xavier Tillman added 15 points and Grayson Allen had 12 as the Grizzlies won their fourth straight game.

Shake Milton, who had 31 points in the Sixers win over Miami on Thursday, helped rally Philadelphia from a 13-point deficit in with a burst in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 of his 28 points in the period.

Tobias Harris added 21 points for Philadelphia, including six straight to pull the Sixers within 105-104 on a 12-footer with 1:25 left. But Harris stepped out of bounds in the closing seconds, turning the ball over.

Tyrese Maxey missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and Memphis took the win.

Ben Simmons fell just short of a triple-double with 11 points, a season-high 16 rebounds and nine assists.

The Grizzlies benefited from Morant’s return, while the Sixers played without center Joel Embiid, who was rested due to right knee pain.

Neither team led by more than six points in a closely played first half. Harris led balanced scoring from Philadelphia with 10 points. Morant led Memphis with 12 points.

Memphis stretched the lead to 11 points near the midway point of the third quarter and eventually held an 88-76 lead heading into the fourth.

76ers: C Dwight Howard started his third game of the season in Embiid’s place. … Despite Embiid’s absence, Philadelphia had 11 blocks in the game, six in the first quarter, including three by Danny Green.

Grizzlies: Have won seven straight home games in the series. Have not lost to the Sixers in Memphis since Dec. 26, 2012. … Counting the Brooklyn win when Morant was injured, the Grizzlies went 5-4 during his absence. … Brandon Clarke struggled in the first half, hitting only 1 of 9 shots. Dillon Brooks was 3 of 10 in the half.

UP NEXT

Sixers: Travel to Oklahoma City for a game against the Thunder on Sunday.

Grizzlies: Scheduled to host the Phoenix Suns in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day game on Monday.

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