Warriors destroy Grizzlies 142-112 in Game 3 to take 2-1 lead in a dramatic series
I TOLD YOU THERE WOULD BE VENGEANCE IN CHASE CENTER!
The NBA playoffs are bringing a sense of normalcy back to the Bay Area. For the first time in a long time I had the pleasure of kicking it with Duby Dub Dubs at the blogfather Nate P.’s lovely home. Our families caught up and watched the Golden State Warriors completely dominate the Memphis Grizzlies 142-112 in Game 3.
Even though it had been a while since we congregated, it felt just like the days of old GSW playoff runs where we’d sit around and drink beers, engrossed in lively discussions about the finer points of hoops while the Warriors terrorized some poor foe with a third quarter run. That good ol’ type of run that turns the last hour of the game into garbage time as occasionally someone glances at the TV and goes, “Damn the other team has clawed back to being down 20!” and everyone guffaws.
Something else that hasn’t changed about the Warriors’ in the postseason: being smack dab in the middle of injury controversy. But we’ll get back to that a little later…let’s start with what a dominant performance our squad gave us at home in the Bay.
Warriors have some spicy wings
How deep are the Warriors? All-Star starter Andrew Wiggins combined forces with Otto Porter Jr. and Klay Thompson for ultra efficient scoring nights buoyed by elite defense. They were physical (Thompson led the Dubs with nine rebounds!) and made Memphis pay for leaving them open on the perimeter (combined 7-of-13 from deep).
And then there was the rookie Jonathan Kuminga, who Grizzlies’ blogbois had coveted as potential trade target coming into the draft:
“Kuminga is a really nice fit on the Grizzlies. He’s a great wing with size and speed who can play alongside Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., especially if he gets his shot to fall at the NBA level. Kuminga could help alleviate some of the concerns with Jaren Jackson Jr. and rebounding, while also being capable of being a microwave scorer when called upon.”
Grizzly Bear Blues were dead on as far Kuminga’s potential, something they witnessed first hand as he was chosen by coach Steve Kerr as a starter in last night’s pivotal contest. Kuminga made some head-scratching rookie mistakes initially but played some quality defense:
And the rook added 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field. That made him the first teenager to score 18 points in a playoff game since CARMELO ANTHONY IN 2004.
And I was told July 29th, 2021 that drafting Kuminga to the Warriors didn’t fit Stephen Curry’s championship window.
When Gary Payton II was attacked by Dillon Brooks, Coach Kerr alluded to a code of brotherhood being broken by the foul play. Last night, Grizzly star Ja Morant left the game limping badly and posted on his social media a clip that to me seems like a claim that the Warriors are actually the ones playing dirty:
Apparently Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins was upset, claiming that Jordan Poole “yanked” Morant’s knee. Reporter Marc Spears, the guy I’m hanging out with in my Twitter header, dug into Coach Jenkins’ accusation:
Getting a little contentious ain’t it? Why does it feel like there’s always a controversy around Golden State and people getting injured? There was the Kawhi Leonard deal, James Harden’s eyeball, and even Kevin Durant’s Achilles! It just wouldn’t be the playoffs without a hot button moment where folks are clamoring for Golden State to be brought to justice for their dangerous tactics.
By the way, this may provide a good explanation as to how Morant’s knee was tweaked, but I’m no doctor:
Speaking of doctors and insults to injuries, we’ve even got some medical practitioners/Grizz supporters bringing their expertise to freshly slander Golden State’s honor. Thankfully we’ve got some docs of our own to combat the histrionics.
Jesse Morse, MD @DrJesseMorsePoole made a dirty play here on #JaMorant He appears to grab inside of Morant’s knee, forcing it outward in addition to flushing pushing his hip. This could have sprained his knee & possibly his hip too. More thoughts ⬇️ @TheFantasyDRS https://t.co/AEh7ToHuhu https://t.co/n663WTGVs2
And considering the Grizzlies’ Brooks was suspended for Game 3 after his heinous clothesline on Payton II, Memphis players, coaches, and fans have a LOTTA nerve to be talking about dirty basketball.
How is it that these jumpshooting Dubs who didn’t get a bruising big man in the offseason suddenly get notorious for pushing around arguably the most physical team in the league? Golden State crushed Memphis in paint points 62-44 and outrebounded them 38-29.
Splash Force Unite
Now if you had told me Morant’s knee was yanked sideways via Poole and Steph Curry unleashing ridiculously saucy dribble moves, I would have absolutely believed it. Curry scored 30 points (making all 14 of his free throw attempts) while Poole scored 27 points off the bench and vocally let Memphis know they can’t stop him.
It is absolutely beautiful to watch the legend Curry still capable of burying a team with a scoring barrage in his 13th season (and after missing the end of the regular season with a foot injury). It’s also fantastic to see his understudy Poole carving his own spot on the squad the way great Warriors always have; by ripping an opponent’s soul out of their body in the playoffs.
It’s pretty wild that Golden State is nowhere near full strength as they miss Andre Iguodala, James Wiseman, and of course Payton II. I know they’ve got plenty of work to do to get out of this series, but sheesh you gotta admit that team owner Joe Lacob’s wild vision of winning now while developing is taking serious shape.