In one of the best matches of the playoffs this year, he was Golden State Warriors Defeated Memphis Grizzlies 117-116, giving them an early lead 1-0 in the series, and potentially controlling the home field advantage for the rest of the Best of Seven series.
With a new opponent, Warriors moved second Gary Payton to the starting lineup alongside Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Clay Thompson and Stephen Curry, removing Jordan Bull to the bench.
After both teams traded three-point attempts in the first few minutes of the match, the Grizzlies took hold of physical strength and the Warriors struggled to face off. Taking advantage of their size, the Memphis dominated the boards and kept the Golden State bowlers from getting many open looks, giving them a 32-24 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Soon the warriors faced another problem: an unpleasant problem. Thompson and Peyton both made their third fouls early in the second. In search of something new, Kerr Damion gave Lee his first spinning minutes in the playoffs. On Lee’s first offensive possession, he made along the left baseline and found Paul wide open. Poole smashed it, and led to a Dubs race 10-0. Alongside Lee, rising star Jonathan Kominga had his most productive minutes of the post-season in the second quarter.
Ja Morant led the way for the Grizzlies, scoring 18 points in the first quarter, but De’Anthony Melton was a major contributor off the bench, scoring 11 points in the first half.
Then, in the closing minutes of the first half, Draymond Green put pressure on Brandon Clarke and made a call in the face, grabbing his shirt as he walked away. Greene quickly reacted regretfully, stating that it was an accident, and the judges went to review the replay.
Green deserved one Screamer, but they called it Screamer 2, and knocked him out of the game. Curry picked up his third foul in the game quickly after play resumed, and as such, three of the Warriors’ top four players were either sent off or had a severe foul problem in the inning.
Looney replaced Green for the start of the third quarter and Kerr chose to return Poole to Payton’s starting unit. Perhaps motivated by Draymond’s dismissal, the Warriors played their most effective defense of the match and pushed a quarterback back and forth.
However, the effects of Greene’s absence were evident. Young sportsman Garen Jackson Jr. exploded in the third quarter when he was guarded by Looney, scoring 14 points and grabbing several offensive rebounds.
With a 91-90 lead in the fourth quarter, the Warriors had a chance to score a big win in Game 1 despite Green being sent off.
Draymond Green’s expulsion changed the tone of the entire game. Even with the advantage of local pitches, grizzlies were often considered underdogs. Now they have to win Game 1 after Green is sent off. It will be an uphill battle for Dubs, but pressure is on Memphis. https://t.co/xuktRN6iX5
– Mark Delucchi (@maddelucchi) May 1, 2022
Curry sat down to start the fourth quarter, but Paul introduced several huge buckets, including three from the deep left winger, and Thompson helped out with three in the transition. When Curry returned with 7:23 left in regulation, Dubs led 103-97.
Then, with 5:08 on the clock, the referees returned. Curry was called up for offensive leadership on Brooks. He challenged The Warriors, and it seemed fairly obvious in the video that Brooks wasn’t hired. Had the call been cancelled, Brooks would have been spoiled. Instead, the call was dropped, and Curry’s fifth mistake was evaluated.
Kerr trusted Carrie, and left him despite his fatal problem. But the Grizzlies are not over yet. Morant led another attack from the Grizzlies that put him ahead in the last two minutes. The Warriors answered twice with a draw and with 90 seconds left, everything was tied at 114.
Possessing the ball in a successful challenge, the Grizzlies drew a great game within limits, providing Morant with an excellent pass to Clarke to finish the match.
Both Thompson and Curry missed open glances as they tried to answer, but the forced jump ball gave Golden State another chance with 39.7 seconds remaining. Thompson got three more open, and this time he didn’t miss out.
Late for 117-116, Morant drove into the Curry, but Steph made a stunning defensive play to enforce the steal. The Memphis tried to force a spin twice, but each time they let the precious seconds slip off the clock. With 6.7 seconds left, a Thompson foul was made and he went to the free throw line.
The Warriors’ free-throw line problems returned with a vengeance. Thompson, who has an 84.9% shooting career, missed both.
With 3.6 seconds left, the Grizzlies had one last chance. Thompson took the opportunity to make up for his missed free throws, helping Payton miss Morant as time ran out.
Curry scored 24 points. Wiggins and Thompson added 17 and 15, respectively. While Otto Porter Jr’s shot continued not to fall, he made 8 high rebounds for the team. Going ahead in Green’s absence, Looney added 8 points and 6 rebounds as well. However, Paul was easily the best player in the Warriors. From the bench, Paul led Golden State with 31 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists.
Morant and Jackson come together to do the bulk of the damage to the Grizzlies. Jackson led them with 33 points and 10 rebounds. Morant scored 34 points, 9 plates and 10 assists. However, Milton cooled off in the second half and both Desmond Payne and Dillon Brooks were extraordinarily calm, accumulating just 17 points in a 6-for-23 shot from the field.
The two teams will have a day off before their game two match on Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m. PST.
No game appears after this week.
“Thinker. Wannabe twitter lover. Entrepreneur. Food fan. Total communicator. Coffee specialist. Web evangelist. Travel fanatic. Gamer.”