Wizards bid to ride momentum of dramatic win vs. Grizzlies

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The Washington Wizards will try to build on a last-second victory while the visiting Memphis Grizzlies look to bounce back from a tough loss when the two teams meet on Sunday night.

Washington is coming off of a 119-118 victory over Dallas Friday night, a game in which Bradley Beal made a tough layup with 0.2 seconds left for the win.

“Coach (Scott Brooks) drew up a great play,” Beal said on the team’s site. “He wanted me to get a full head of steam downhill. I’m just happy my teammates trusted me and coach trusted me to pull us out with this win.”

Beal finished with a game-high 29 points as the Wizards continued playing well at home. Washington has won seven of its last nine home games.

The Wizards made a few moves at the trading deadline, bringing in Shabazz Napier and Jerome Robinson. Napier played with Washington for the first time on Friday and scored 14 points, thanks mainly to four 3-pointers.

Robinson did not play in this game but is expected to go against Memphis.

Napier gave Washington plenty of help off the bench, as did Davis Bertans. Bertans scored 20 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter and went 5-for-9 on 3-pointers.

Washington now has won three of its last four games and has been playing well on offense throughout much of the season despite missing five-time All-Star John Wall.

The Wizards’ biggest weakness is their defense, something they’ve not been able to improve much as they’ve consistently ranked at or near the bottom of the NBA.

Memphis is trying to rebound after the Philadelphia 76ers handed the Grizzlies a 119-107 road loss Friday night.

The Sixers now are 23-2 at home this season, so Memphis couldn’t do much there as Philadelphia found plenty of offense. For the Grizzlies, Jonas Valanciunas finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Rookie Ja Morant added a team-best 15 points to go along with six assists and three rebounds.

Tyus Jones came off the bench for 13 points and seven assists while Brandon Clarke had 11 points and five rebounds.

“(We’ve got to) just be the same team, even better,” Valanciunas told the team’s web site. “We have such a young group in the locker room, so we’re improving every day. It’s been a process for us, but we just got to get it on.”

There’s still plenty of time left in the regular season for the Grizzlies, who are clinging to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Memphis made some deadline moves of its own, acquiring Justise Winslow, Gorgui Dieng and Dion Waiters plus Jordan Bell. None of them played in Friday’s loss, and Waiters has been battling injury problems as well as multiple suspensions this season.

The Daily Memphian previously reported that there’s a “decent chance” Dieng and Bell might play versus the Wizards.

–Field Level Media

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