Post game: Warriors overcome everything, eek out one-point win over Grizzlies
Draymond Green ejected early, but Golden State too poised
What a crazy game. The Golden State Warriors managed to come back to conquer the Memphis Grizzlies in one of the weirdest, most intense non-Finals game I can remember. Jordan Poole had 31 points off the bench. Klay Thompson hit the go-ahead three (and then bricked two consecutive free throws). Steph Curry had 24 points and one hell of a clutch defensive play to seal the win.
In classic NBA playoff fashion, the game came down to a huge moment, when Ja Morant drove into trouble against Stephen Curry with the game on the line. Seriously, please check out this up close slow motion version of the play to fully appreciate the hands:
Both teams tweaked their starting lineups. The Warriors inserted Gary Payton II for “speed and defense” and the Grizzlies went with a double bigs lineup that they hadn’t tried before. The game was mostly even early, but then Draymond Green ran afoul of the referees on this play:
I don’t know. Green will never get the benefit of doubt, and there was plenty of extra contact on that play, but a Flagrant 2? Excessive or not, Green got ejected with no fouls, but will carry those points towards accruing enough for a one game suspension later in the post season.
But somehow the Warriors tenaciously clung on and kept working. Even as the fouls piled up, the Golden State squad just wouldn’t lose their poise.
The Warriors managed to hold their own, or even win an advantage, despite the absence of Green. It was a Strength in Numbers moment as Kevon Looney was dusted off along with Poole to help bolster the effort off the bench. Andrew Wiggins was phenomenal, you can really see that both he and the team have directed him to attack the boards — a highly important aspect of the battle against these Grizzlies.
There’s going to be plenty to dissect, and the Warriors and Grizzlies both will likely adjust their plans and rotations off of what worked and didn’t work in game one. Morant led all scorers with 34 points, and he got plenty of help from Jaren Jackson Jr. — who got freakishly hot from behind the arch somehow — had 33. On the Dubs side, it was Jordan Poole that led the Warriors with 31 points, followed by Curry’s 24.
Whew. What a gaaaaaame!