MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 14 (AP) -- Jason Williams hit an 18-foot jumper to halt a late rally as the Memphis Grizzlies held on after opening a big lead and beat the Los Angeles Clippers 121-113 Sunday.
Wright
Lorenzen Wright, who scored 19 points, lofts a shot over Michael Olowokandi.
AP Photos
Playing well for the second straight game in the preseason, Williams finished with 23 points. Michael Dickerson led Memphis with 28 points and Lorenzen Wright had 19. None of the Clippers starters played after the first quarter when Los Angeles allowed Memphis to score 41 points and open a 17-point lead, yet the Clippers made a game of it down the stretch behind reserves Darius Miles, Keyon Dooling and Earl Boykins. A fast-break layup by Miles with 2:45 left capped an 11-1 run and made it 110-105, But Williams answered with a jumper from the left of the key. Boykins led the Clippers with 21 points and Miles had 14. Williams, who had 19 points and 11 assists in Memphis' first exhibition game, played under control for most of the game and stayed away from the type of careless play that helped hasten his departure from Sacramento in a trade after last season. Williams scored 10 of the Grizzlies' first 26 points, and Memphis -- looking to push the ball upcourt while the Clippers kept trying to force it down low -- ended the first quarter with a 41-24 lead. It was 51-32 when Williams returned to the game midway through the second quarter, and he fed Dickerson for a banked 3-pointer that gave Memphis its first 20-point lead, 54-32 with 6 1/2 minutes left. Williams finished the half with 17 points. Memphis maintained a comfortable lead through the third quarter as Williams had two nifty passes leading to dunks by Stromile Swift and Pau Gasol. The score was 94-78 heading into the fourth quarter, and the Clippers still trailed by 15 with 5:18 left before making the final push.