Faced with clumsy warriors despite many open shots (18% from 3 points and 18 balls lost) but never left behind, the Grizzlies needed a monumental match of Ja Morant, and the latter responded present. MIP 2022 scored 45% of his team’s points and assaulted the circle in front of a Golden State defense unable to stop him.
Not surprisingly, the Grizzlies start strong thanks to an 8-0 but the logical exclusion of Dillon Brooks after his nasty foul on Gary Payton II, followed by 8 missed shots in a row allows Stephen Curry and the Warriors to stay in the game ( 22-19). Golden State, however, rushes into attack and the duo Ja Morant – Jaren Jackson Jr, authors of 24 of the 33 points of their team 4/8 from a distance, take the opportunity to close the first quarter at 11-5 (33 – 25).
The Warriors aren’t panicking though. They find Draymond Green, their concentration rises one level and they start the second quarter at 11-4 to put Memphis under pressure (37-36).
With the exception of an Andrew Wiggins dunk that climbs over Brandon Clarke, the Grizzlies close the circle thanks to Jackson Jr.’s deterrence. Despite an outside address at half mast (4/18), the Warriors continue to stay in touch but five points from Ja Morant at the last minute give Memphis a five-point lead (56-51).
Golden State started the third quarter by missing his first seven long-range shots and Memphis took an 11-point lead. Between the suspicious selection of Klay Thompson’s shot and a pass from Stephen Curry to Xavier Tillman, the Dubs chained six minutes to go but the Grizzlies missed the opportunity to take home the point (74-64).
Steve Kerr’s men recover thanks to the offensive rebounding activity of Andrew Wiggins and Otto Porter Jr who closed the fourth at 13-3 and chain from the first minutes of the last period to pass for the first time in the game (83-80 )! As is the rule of this match, whenever a team has the wind in their sails, connect the nonsense. Stephen Curry’s two stray bullets lead to Ziaire Williams’ two award-winning shots to revive Memphis and launch money time (86-83).
The end of the match turns into a Ja Morant – Stephen Curry duel and point guard Grizz takes matters into his own hands. He attacks the circle relentlessly with his left hand and scores 15 in a row as the Warriors don’t have the courage to slow down and respond to the young All-Star. The Grizzlies finally win 106-101 and draw before heading to San Francisco for Games 3 and 4! It will be without Gary Payton II …
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– An eventful start to the game. You shouldn’t miss the start of this game 2, especially the first three minutes! The Grizzlies’ aggressive defense limited the Warriors to 0 for 5 shots and caused 4 stray balls, but a dangerous foul by Dillon Brooks on a Gary Payton II dunk earned him a logical Flagrant 2 and a red card. Later, Draymond Green, who was hit by an elbow in the face, joined him in the locker room with a bloody face. If Green returns to the field, Payton II will go to the hospital for an X-ray. Verdict: broken left elbow. Steve Kerr won’t spare the Grizzlies during his TNT interview after the first quarter: “Their game start wasn’t physical, it was dirty! “
– Upside down warriors. Prior to the start of this series, the Warriors thought they dominated with their 3-point shots and suffered in key. In game 2, it was the opposite. Golden State finished the game 7 out of 38 from 3 points, compared to 14 out of 45 in Memphis. The team remained in the game in the third quarter thanks to the activity of Andrew Wiggins and Otto Porter Jr in offensive rebounds. The Dubs have once again won the battle of the rebound (52-47) and that of the points scored on the second chances (20-10). They also dominated in the racket (60-42). It is rare to see the Warriors, clumsy at this point, and we can think that they will find an address in the house.
– Ja Morant dominates the last quarter. The point guard attacked the circle throughout the game, but especially in the final minutes. He has in fact scored 18 points in the last period including the last 15 points for his team! Gary Payton II out with injury, the Grizzlies point guard knows no Warrior can stop him and he’s right. Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole all suffered against him and Steve Kerr and his staff will have to adapt quickly. Help has come too late and if Ja Morant can take off, it’s over. He produced a layup and floater festival against warriors who didn’t have the size to protect the circle.
TOP / FLOPS
✅ Ja Morant. The Grizzlies playoff equalized his record for points in the playoffs by scoring 47 points with 48% of shots, but also adding 8 rebounds and 8 assists. He brought his team to the end of the game to get this second round.
✅ Ziaire Williams. Absent in Game 1, the young winger scored four important winning shots, including two in the last quarter, to relaunch his team. He also did a good job on Stephen Curry. This is the X factor of the game.
✅ ⛔ Jaren Jackson Jr. He started the game with a bang with 10 points in the first quarter before disappearing from circulation in attack (12 points in total). Even though he had to leave his teammates with six fouls with four minutes left, he still did a great job of protecting the circle.
✅ ⛔ Jordan Poole. The sixth man of the Warriors scored 20 points at 50% success but often tried too hard. He got lost in dribbling, lost 3 balls and was targeted in defense by Memphis.
✅ ⛔ Andrew Wiggins – Otto Porter Jr. They were clumsy too (7 out of 20 in total), but the two wings were impressive in their aggression and their attempt to rebound, offense and defense, to keep the Warriors in ambush.
⛔ Stephen Curry. The two-time MVP ended up as his team’s top scorer with 27 points but needed 25 shots, including a 3-for-11 which was a blot. He took 9 rebounds and provided 8 assists, but also lost 5 balls including two in the last quarter.
⛔ Thompson clay. As in Race 1, he lacked skill (12 out of 5 out of 19 on shooting, including 2 out of 12 from 3 points). Many wrong choices in the shots of him.
Game 3 : in the night from Saturday to Sunday in San Francisco.