The Grizzlies defeated the Bucks 111-101 thanks to 35 points from Jaren Jackson Jr.

Milwaukee — The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 111-101 on Wednesday thanks to Jaren Jackson Jr.'s 35 points. The Bucks lost their fourth game in five as they struggle to hold onto the Eastern Conference's No. 2 seed.  

In the second half, Jackson scored 25 points to lead the Grizzlies to their sixth straight win over Milwaukee. He hit 14 of 26 attempts and two crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. “I was taking what the defense gives me,” Jackson said. “I've been working on my game a lot and was glad to get out there and show it off.”  

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 21 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists, while Brook Lopez had 25 points and 10 rebounds. Bobby Portis scored 19 and Malik Beasley 10. Bucks coach Doc Rivers was more concerned about Antetokounmpo's health after the game, who played 32 minutes on the second night of a back-to-back after a triple-double in a defeat to Washington on Tuesday  

He said, "Honestly, and I'm not kidding, there were times in the middle of the third (quarter) I wanted to take him out of the game." “I thought he was exhausted. Coaches must sometimes make decisions. “Medical calls. Keep claiming he's OK. I have eyes. I didn't like his gait. Asking to enter again. I wish I had said no, honestly.”  

Injury-plagued Grizzlies lost Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Marcus Smart, while the Bucks lost Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton, and Patrick Beverley. For Memphis, GG Jackson scored 15 points and grabbed 12 boards, and Brandon Clarke scored 14 points after returning from an Achilles tendon injury that sidelined him for 72 games.  

The 6-foot-11, 242-pound Jaren Jackson helped the Grizzlies outscore the Bucks 76-36 in the paint. “We got beat off the dribble a ton, and not just by their guards, by their bigs,” Rivers said. “Jaren Jackson changed the game.”  

Jaren Jackson scored seven points to begin a 9-0 run that gave the Grizzlies a 98-90 lead with 4:17 left. Bucks never got closer than four points thereafter. Antetokounmpo was benched after his fourth foul with 4:15 left in the third quarter, and the Grizzlies capitalized. Memphis defeated Milwaukee 15-8 in the fourth quarter to take a 79-78 lead into the final period after Jaren Jackson scored nine points.

Lillard missed his third straight game and second with a right groin issue, and Beverley missed with a damaged right ankle from the Bucks' loss at Washington. Middleton, who scored 24 points against the Wizards on Tuesday, did not play in back-to-back games this season.  

Rivers said Lillard worked out well Tuesday and could play Friday against Toronto. “I think he’s closer,” Rivers remarked. However, if he's not 100% or 90th percentile, no. We won't risk that one. Just not worth it.” Since Rivers replaced Adrian Griffin as coach on Jan. 26, Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Lillard have only played together six times in 40 games.  

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