On Tuesday night, the Memphis Grizzlies squashed the Golden State Warrior 106-101, with Ja Morant scoring a postseason-high 47 points to lift Memphis into a tie in the Western Conference semifinals.
Morant sank the last 15 points for Memphis with less than four minutes remaining. As time expired, he drove and spun a defense around before draining a 7-foot shot to keep Memphis up, 100-99. However, he scored four more points in the fourth quarter, including four free throws and a 9-footer.
As an All-Star Grizzly, after suffering a blow to the face late in the third quarter, Star stated he was still unable to see out of part of his left eye. Six of his ten shots went in while he nailed all five free throws in the fourth quarter.
Morant missed the finish of the first game.
“Missing that shot late defeat was on my mind a lot,” Morant said of his missed layup after Game 1. “However, I told myself going into today that we needed a victory and would get a win. “I decided to go out there and do it for us,” Morant said.
A year after Morant scoring 47 against Utah in Game 2, the NBA’s Most Improved Player has now matched his previous career-high of 45 points in the playoffs, becoming the third player in league history to do it before turning 23. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are the other two.
Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins stated, “It’s not just the plays.” Just the power and energy he uses are the only things that matter in his performances. It spreads quickly. Since the beginning, I’ve made it clear. With regards to these sorts of circumstances, you know he’s going to be able to handle it.
On the bench, Ziaire William scored 14 points with four three-pointers.
The series will now travel back to Memphis for Game 5, with the youngest team to reach the semifinals in the previous 25 years heading to San Francisco for Game 3 on Saturday night.
A 3-of-11 effort from outside the arc by Stephen Curry gave him a final score of 27 points. However, Jordan Poole was just one of six from three in his 20 minutes. One of seven attempts from Andrew Wiggins yielded 16 points. Klay Thompson had a game-high 12 points on 2-of-12 shooting outside the arc. From 3-point range, the Warriors made only 7 of 38 attempts.
The Warriors, who were playing in the playoffs for the eighth time in ten years, knew they had possibilities. Curry sent the ball to Green, who threw it to Thompson, traveling with 17 seconds remaining. The final margin was Morant’s two free throws.
The Grizzlies just won their first playoff series in seven years. This year’s second-youngest team in the NBA aims to make it beyond the second round, an accomplishment that has just been achieved once previously by Memphis.
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