The Memphis Grizzlies tied the series with a hard-fought 106-101 win over the Golden State Warriors. In the end, the dubs find no way against Ja Morant, the Splash Brothers are completely cold.
About four and a half minutes before the end, the Grizzlies were still 4 points behind, but the home side then finished the game with a furious 15:6 run to victory – all 15 points went to Morant! The 22-year-old was now unstoppable with his workouts, in the end he had set his playoff career high of 47 points.
The young Grizzlies sank 15 of 31 shots (5/12 threes) and also grabbed 8 rebounds and assists along with 3 steals. Otherwise, only Ziaire Williams (14), Brandon Clarke (10) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (12, 3/14 FG) provided support in the form of double-digit numbers. The latter had to leave the floor prematurely with six faults.
At the other end, Stephen Curry fought with 27 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists, but the leader, like his teammates, struggled on long shots (3/11 three-pointers). Golden State went just 18.4 percent from Downtown (7/38), a negative franchise record for a playoff game with at least 20 three-point attempts.
Jordan Poole still got 20 points, Andrew Wiggins 16. Klay Thompson, on the other hand, remained completely pale (12, 5/19 FG). Golden State also had to deal with the injury of Gary Payton II, who fractured his left elbow in a nasty fall.
In fact, everything went according to plan for Memphis early in the game: Jackson Jr. and Morant scored two hat-tricks early in the game, while the Warriors mostly lost the ball (an 8-0 lead). Then, however, offered Dillon Brooks commits a nasty foul on a payton lay-up, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was beside himself. Brooks received a flagrant foul II and immediately had to take a shower.
Morant and Curry in a private duel in a fierce match
Payton II also had to leave the field with an elbow injury from the fall, shortly after Draymond Green (6, 10 rebounds, 7 assists) headed for the locker room after an accidental punch to the face. However, the Memphis offense now has more problems and a bit of bad luck, in contrast Curry created good shots for his colleagues and found his own rhythm (11). After an extremely physical first quarter, Memphis still led 33-25 thanks to Morant (14) and JJJ (10).
While Payton II was stuck, Green came back with a bulging eye in the second quarter. The next highlight, however, was provided by Wiggins, who scored a two-handed slam against Brandon Clarke fierce poster product. Otherwise, many throws ended up on both sides of the ring. On a Morant Air Show replied Jonathan Kuminga with one and one, Morant bet with one acrobatic draping but the last point of the first half (56:51).
The start of the second half belonged to the Grizzlies. As Golden State missed three after three, the home team quickly went to +10. The lead vanished just as quickly after several dunks from Poole and Wiggins. It felt like Memphis should have led much higher, but instead the Dubs tied the game despite a manageable performance late in the third quarter – 77:77.
Morant unstoppable! Grizzlies sink Warriors late
Morant had to come into the locker room with an eye problem, and in the All-Star’s absence, the Grizzlies’ offense lacked fluidity. Golden State took the lead for the first time in Game 2, but after two turnovers from Curry and two three-pointers from Williams at the other end, the game turned around again.
On the other hand, it took some luck for the Warriors to get a triple. But it was apparently the can opener for Curry, who followed immediately after a botched Grizzlies rotation with another line. Shortly after, Jackson Jr. was ejected for his sixth foul – much to the delight of Draymond, who politely said goodbye.
Morant has now single-handedly kept the Grizzlies in the game, his three-point drop with two-and-a-half minutes left putting Memphis back in front. The answer followed in the form of a curry drive, but again Morant struck with a mad blow. The last few minutes were really crazy, the Grizzlies guard went up to +3 after a controversial call from the free throw line. Morant had set up the counterattack again with a float on a green bucket – then Thompson made a mistake in step! Then Ja put the lid on the line win.
The most important statistics
Memphis Grizzlies (2) – Golden State Warriors (3) 106:101 (BOXSCORE), Series: 1-1
- The Warriors shoot wasn’t particularly fun to watch that night. Neither the Splash Brothers nor the roleplayers found their rhythm in the 48 minutes of play, resulting in a three-point ratio of 18.4% (7/38). Curry was 3/11 away, Thompson at 2/12, Poole at 1/6 and Wiggins at 1/7.
- The guests compensated for these unusual weaknesses with a good job under the boards. Thanks in large part to Wiggins (5 rebounds on the opposing board), Golden State grabbed 14 offensive rebounds. This, in turn, turned GSW into 20 second-chance points, Memphis had just 10 of 12 offensive rebounds.
- In line with this, dubs had clear advantages when scoring in the zone. Golden State had 60 points in the paint compared to 42 for the Grizzlies. Particularly bitter: Jackson Jr.’s fouls. With the Big Man on the field, the Warriors had a much harder time finishing in the area.
- At the critical moment, however, Morant was just too much for the voice-overs. The All-Star moved loudly with him ESPN statistics and information became the third player in NBA history to have multiple playoff games with 45+ points before his 23rd birthday. The other two are LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
NBA Playoffs – Grizzlies vs. Warriors: The Voices
Steve Kerr (Warriors Coach) on the fault of Dillon Brooks: “It wasn’t physical, it was dirty. […] There is a clear limit. You don’t knock a player out who’s in the air and break their elbow. That’s the limit.”
The star of the game: Yes Morant
What a performance from the 22-year-old! Golden State was powerless over its drives in the finals, including spectacular finishes. Morant scored 18 points in the fourth quarter – never has a Grizzly scored more in a playoff quarter. It’s the second time he’s done it.
The flop of the game: Klay Thompson
Thompson already had his struggles in Game 1, which his winner covered. But even in the second duel with the Grizzlies, the 32-year-old was far from his best form, shortly before the end he even offered himself an airball and an expensive turnover. Sometimes he seemed to want to force his luck.
The game scene
For a few seconds midway through the second quarter, Wiggins put aside his innate Canadian friendliness. Because what he did to fellow countryman Brandon Clarke is probably going to haunt them both for a while. Wiggins went from the perimeter to practice, Clarke wanted to protect the ring as a help defender – but he had no other choice, Than watch the Warriors star fly. With both hands, Wiggins pushed the ball over Clarke’s head through the trap. Can you do it?
NBA Playoffs: Grizzlies vs Warriors – The Series at a Glance (1-1)
|1||May 1||9:30 p.m.||Memphis Grizzlies||Golden State Warriors||116:117|
|2||May 4||3h30||Memphis Grizzlies||Golden State Warriors||106:101|
|3||May 8||2h30||Golden State Warriors||Memphis Grizzlies||–|
|4||May 10||4 hours||Golden State Warriors||Memphis Grizzlies||–|
|5||May 12||3h30||Memphis Grizzlies||Golden State Warriors||–|
|6*||May 14||To be determined||Golden State Warriors||Memphis Grizzlies||–|
|7*||May 17||To be determined||Memphis Grizzlies||Golden State Warriors||–|