Faced with the clumsy Warriors despite many open shots (18% from three-pointers, 18 losing balls) but never left behind, the Grizzlies needed a massive Ja Morant match, and the latter responded. The 2022 MIP scored 45% of his team’s points and attacked the circuit in the face of a Golden State defense unable to stop him.
Unsurprisingly, the Grizzlies started strong with an 8-0 thanks, but Dillon Brooks’ logical disqualification after his foul on Gary Payton II, followed by eight straight shots, allowed Stephen Curry and the Warriors to stay in the game (22-19). Golden State, however, rushes in attack and the Ja Morant duo – Garen Jackson Jr., composing 24 of 33 points for their team at 4/8 from afar, seizes the opportunity to end the first quarter with a draw 11-5 (33). – 25).
Warriors don’t panic though. They found Draymond Green, their concentration rose a little and they started the second quarter with a draw 11-4 to put pressure on Memphis (37-36).
Except for a snooze from Andrew Wiggins running up to Brandon Clarke, the Grizzlies are close to making it to the circuit thanks to Jackson Jr.’s deterrence. Despite having an outside title at half-mast (4/18), the Warriors continue to stay in but Ja Morant’s five points in the last minute gave Memphis a five-point lead (56-51).
Golden State started the third quarter by missing its first seven shots from distance and Memphis is 11 points ahead. Between choosing a suspicious Klay Thompson shot and a pass from Stephen Curry to Xavier Tillman, the Dubs missed six minutes but the Grizzlies missed the opportunity to push the difference into the net (74-64).
Steve Kerr’s men are recovering thanks to the offensive rebound activity of Andrew Wiggins and Otto Porter Jr. to finish the quarter with a score of 13-3 and a series of first minutes of the last period to pass for the first time in the game (83-80)! As in this match, every time the team is in its sail, it connects bullshit. Two Stephen Curry flying bullets lead to two award-winning Ziaire Williams shots to revive Memphis and fire time money (86-83).
The end of the match turns into a Ja Morant – Stephen Curry duel and it’s goalkeeper Grizz who takes matters into his own hands. He attacks the Circle relentlessly with his left hand and scores 15 points in a row because the Warriors lack the nerve to slow down and strike back at the young star. The Grizzlies finally won 106-101 and tied before going to San Francisco for matches 3 and 4! It would be without Gary Payton II…
What to remember
An eventful start to the match. You must not miss the start of this game 2, especially the first 3 minutes! The Grizzlies’ aggressive defense limited the Warriors to 0 out of 5 in shots and caused 4 loose balls but a serious mistake by Dillon Brooks in Gary Payton II’s dunk earned him Flagrant 2 logical and ejection. In the process, Draymond Green, a victim of a facial elbow, joins him in the locker room with his face bleeding. If Greene returns to the field, Payton II will head to the hospital for an X-ray. Verdict: Left elbow fracture. Steve Kerr won’t spare the Grizzlies during his TNT interview after the first quarter time: “Their start to the match wasn’t physical, it was sloppy!”
– Warriors upside down. Before the start of this series, the Warriors thought they had control of their 3-point shots and their cleavage struggles. In Game 2, it was the opposite. Golden State finished the game 7 of 38 from a 3-point range, compared to 14 of 45 for Memphis. The team stayed in the game in the third quarter thanks to the activity of Andrew Wiggins and Otto Porter Jr. in attacking rebounds. Dubs again won the rebound fight (52-47) and scored points in second chances (20-10). They also controlled the racket (60-42). It’s rare to see Warriors, who are clumsy at this point, and we can almost think they’d find an address in the house.
Ja Morant dominates the final quarter. The base attacked the circle throughout the match, especially in the last minutes. He has already scored 18 points in the last period including his team’s last 15! Gary Payton II runs off the field with an injury, the Grizzlies point guard doesn’t know a Warrior can stop him and he’s right. Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson and Jordan Paul have all struggled against him and Steve Kerr and his crew will have to adapt quickly. Help came too late and if Ja Morant can take off, it’s over. He produced a festival of lie-ins and floats against Warriors who lacked the scale to protect the circuit.
^ J. Morant. The Grizzlies point guard tied his playoff score of 47 with a 48% shootout, but also added 8 rebounds and 8 assists. He carried his team at the end of the match to achieve this second round.
✅ Zaire Williams. Absent from the first game, the young winger scored four important award-winning shots, including two in the final quarter, to revive his team. He also did a good job on Stephen Curry. This is the X factor of the game.
✅ ⛔ Garen Jackson Jr. He started the match with a 10 point lead in the first quarter before disappearing from circulation in attack (12 points total). Although he had to leave his partners with six fouls with four minutes remaining, he did a tremendous job protecting the circuit.
^ ⛔ Jordan Paul. The sixth man of the Warriors scored 20 points with a 50% success rate but tried too often. He lost in dribbling, lost 3 balls, and was targeted in defense by Memphis.
✅ ⛔ Andrew Wiggins – Otto Porter Jr. They were also clumsy (7 out of 20 among them), but the wingers were brilliant in their aggressiveness and rebounding efforts, offensively and defensively, to keep the Warriors in an ambush.
⛔ Stephen Curry. The two-time MVP finished as his team’s top scorer with 27 points but needed 25 shots, including 3 of the 11 3 pointers that were a disgrace. He had 9 rebounds and made 8 assists, but also lost 5 balls, including two in the last quarter.
⛔ Clay Thompson. As in Game 1, he lacked skill (12 points out of 5 out of 19 shots, including 2 out of 12 out of 3 shots). Lots of bad choices in his shots.
3 . game : at night from Saturday to Sunday in San Francisco.