If Game 1 of the second-round series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors is any indicator, we’re in for a treat. In a back-and-forth fight down to the game’s last possession, the Warriors can win 117-116 to grab a 1-0 lead.
Even though Draymond Green was dismissed in the second quarter for a flagrant foul that the officials deemed heinous enough to expel him, the Warriors were able to win. Without Green in the second half, Golden State had to dig deep, which they did. Jordan Poole led the Warriors off the bench with 31 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds. Steph Curry drove the way with 24 places and four assists, while Andrew Wiggins chipped in with 17 points and eight rebounds.
The Grizzlies, on the other hand, had significant contributions from their two young stars. Jaren Jackson Jr. scored a double-double with 33 points and ten rebounds, while Ja Morant topped all scorers with 34 points, ten assists, and nine rebounds. However, their combined output wasn’t nearly enough to drive Memphis to a Game 1 victory.
The Grizzlies must now regroup and seek to rebound in Game 2 on Tuesday night. But, before we get to that game, here are four key lessons from Golden State’s Game 1 victory.
Warriors Poole Party
Poole was the Warriors’ best player on Sunday, and his performance was crucial to their win. And he did not start the game due to Steve Kerr’s decision, but this did not reduce his total playing time, as he ended up playing a team-high 38 minutes. Poole scored 31 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the field in 38 minutes and grabbed eight rebounds. Poole’s playmaking and scoring were crucial for the Warriors, as his nine assists were a team’s best.
Poole’s presence makes the Warriors more dangerous in playoffs, as seen in Game 1. Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green did not have perfect games, and the Warriors would have likely lost such a game in the past. On the other hand, Poole was there to help counterbalance the trouble’s top three. The Warriors would have lost if it hadn’t been for him. It doesn’t make any difference on the off chance that Poole begins or not, as long as he gets significant playing time and contributes to his team’s victory.
Morant and Jackson are Grizzlies legends
Memphis didn’t win, but its young star tandem of Morant and Jackson made Grizzlies history by becoming the first set of teammates in club history to score 30 points in a playoff game. Given the skill on the Grizzlies’ roster in the past, it’s an astounding achievement. The bad news for Memphis is that it could not win despite Morant and Jackson creating history. The Grizzlies will need a little more from the rest of their squad as the series progresses.
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