Trey Jemison scores career-high 24 points to lead Grizzlies past Wizards, 109-97

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Trey Jemison scored a career-high 24 points, GG Jackson added 19 and the Memphis Grizzlies used a late rally to hold on for a 109-97 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.

Jake LaRavia added 16 points for Memphis. Jemison was 11 of 13 from the field.

Jemison was all smiles in the locker room after he eclipsed his previous best of 12 points by halftime. He made a couple of early hook shots and knowing the Wizards were playing without a true center, continued to be aggressive in the middle.

Jemison, on a two-way contract, helped Memphis to a 66-50 advantage in the paint and a 53-28 rebound advantage.

“It was amazing,” Jemison said. “I had a great time out there. I took my time. Nothing crazy. Nothing special. The shots I work on were the shots I made.”

John Konchar had 10 rebounds, and Jordan Goodwin grabbed a career-high 12 boards, handed out seven assists and scored eight points.

Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said Jemison was aggressive early, helping Memphis establish a tone in the game. He said the Grizzlies center, who also had five of his six rebounds off the offensive glass, is taking “steps in the right direction.”

“He's doing the little things that impact winning,” Jenkins said.

Kyle Kuzma had 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Wizards, who were trying to win three straight games for the first time this season. Corey Kispert finished with 22 points and Deni Avdija had 16.

Tyus Jones, who returned to Memphis for the first time after four years with the Grizzlies, scored four points, but had nine assists to only one turnover.

The Wizards never led in the game and were fighting uphill throughout. Memphis' early lead was brought about by Washington not ready to play, said interim coach Brian Keefe, who took over for Wes Unseld Jr. on Jan. 25.

“I have to take it on me,” Keefe said. “I didn't have the group ready to play from the start. We had a terrible first half. We weren't ready to go.”

The Wizards, who trailed by 25 in the first half, made a dent in the Memphis advantage with an 18-5 rally early in the third. The Grizzlies' lead was still 17 entering the fourth. Washington continued to chip away as the Grizzlies made only one of their first 11 shots in the period, while committing seven turnovers.

The Wizards got within 94-88 on Kuzma's basket with 5:24 left. But Memphis crafted a 9-1 run to take the lead back to double digits and snap a two-game losing streak.

Asked what changed in the second half, Keefe replied: “We changed our mentality. We came out and played with an aggressive mindset.”

The game pitted two of the worst teams in their respective conferences. In fact, the loss dropped the Wizards into the Eastern Conference cellar below the idle Detroit Pistons for the worst record in the NBA. Washington already has been eliminated from the postseason.

Jemison had 14 points in the first half, missing only one of his nine shots That helped Memphis build the lead to 67-42 at halftime.

“His hook shot was cash money,” Jackson said. “For a second, I thought he was going to step out and shoot a middie.”


Wizards: Continue a four-game road trip on Thursday in Houston against the Rockets.

Grizzlies: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.