Ennis' big fourth lead Bucks past Grizzlies 96-86
MILWAUKEE (AP) Tyler Ennis scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 96-86 victory over the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night.
Playing all reserves, the Bucks used a 15-2 run capped by Ennis' reverse layup that gave Milwaukee an 83-75 lead with 5:47 to play. Damien Inglis, who scored 10 points, and John Henson each had a key block that helped put some life in the Bucks' offense.
The game got testy late in the fourth when Henson came up behind Lance Stephenson who had just grabbed a rebound. Henson swiped the ball away and in the process dumped Stephenson to the floor. After a review, Henson was called for a Flagrant 1 foul and a technical. Barnes made the technical and Stephenson made two free throws that pulled Memphis to 88-83 with 3:43 left in the game. Ennis hit consecutive shots to push the lead to nine, but Milwaukee had to weather the ejection of Henson with 5.5 seconds left.
Henson blocked Barnes' layup and then turned to stare at Barnes. Referee Marc Davis quickly pushed Henson away. After a review, Henson was slapped with a double technical and ejected. He left the court with his arms above his head, egging the raucous crowd on.
Trailing 53-47 at the half, the Bucks finally played with the energy lacking in the first half. Greg Monroe scored five points and Giannis Antetokounmpo added four during an 11-2 run to open the third. Antetokounmpo's fastbreak layup made it 58-55, but Memphis didn't fold. The lead changed seven times in the quarter, the last in Memphis' favor on two free throws apiece by Xavier Munford and Ryan Hollins and Briante Weber's pull-up jumper that gave the Grizzlies a 73-68 lead after three.
Barnes and Lance Stephenson sparked the scrappy Grizzlies in the first half. Barnes scored 18 points and Lance Stephenson added 11 in his first start in 14 games since being acquired in a trade with the LA Clippers on Feb. 18. Memphis also dominated in the paint, scoring 36 points to the Bucks' 20. Milwaukee came in having scored at least 60 points in the paint in an NBA-leading 13 games this season.
Matt Barnes scored 20 points, but only two in the second half. Lance Stephenson added 19 and Tony Allen 13, but it wasn't enough as the Grizzlies lost their fourth consecutive game, including fourth straight on the road.
Memphis was without Mike Conley (Achilles), Zach Randolph (knee), Brandan Wright (knee), Vince Carter (calf) and Chris Andersen (shoulder). P.J. Hairston was added to that extensive injury list after straining his groin in Monday's 130-81 blowout loss to Houston.
Grizzlies: Barnes scored 18 points in the first quarter on 7 of 9 shooting from the floor and 3 of 4 from 3-point range. … G/F Vince Carter missed his fourth consecutive game with a left calf strain. ''He's doing everything he can do to try to play,'' head coach Dave Joerger said. … G Xavier Munford, signed to a 10-day contract on March 16 as a call up from the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA's Development League, made his Memphis debut in the second quarter.
Bucks: G Greivis Vasquez moved closer to playing yet this season. He's missed that last 52 games recovering from a right ankle injury that required surgery. ''He practiced yesterday,'' head coach Jason Kidd said. ''I thought he did a really good job. His spirit was high. We'll see how he feels today, and then go from there.'' … The Bucks honored team broadcasters Jim Paschke and Jon McGlockin at halftime on their 30 years of calling the action. There were also video tributes before the game and during timeouts.
Grizzlies: Host the LA Clippers on Saturday night.
Bucks: Host the Utah Jazz on Sunday.