Memphis has been one of the top teams in the NBA this season, and the Grizzlies have ordered a matchup against the Golden State Warriors. Star point guard Jamorant spoke at his Western conference this week about how the Grizzlies are “going well,” and guard Desmond his Bain backed up his comments.
Instead, the Warriors, who defeated the Grizzlies 123-109 at Chase Center on Sunday night, looked like a hungry team.
Memphis (20-12) struggled on 3-pointers and outbounded. Morant leads the Grizzlies with 36 points.
Golden State (16-18) continued to dominate at home. Jordan Poole led the Warriors with 32 points before being ejected midway through the fourth quarter.
Here are some points from the game.
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Grizzlies’ defense struggles with starting changes
The Warriors were without Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins, perhaps the two most influential players in last season’s NBA Finals. Poole and Donte DiVincenzo started instead and caused the Grizzlies’ defense the biggest trouble of the first half. Poole was fielded by Dillon Brooks. Poole used a series of dribbling moves to manipulate the perimeter and create difficult shots. DiVincenzo’s looks were more open and in the first half he made three of his 3-pointers.
Foul trouble and miscues haunt the Grizzlies
Memphis forward Jaren Jackson Jr. picked up his third foul with 7:24 left in the second quarter, ending the first half with 9:47 for foul trouble. He picked up his fourth foul 11 seconds into the third quarter and returned to the bench. Coach Taylor Jenkins took a bet and got Jackson back into the game late in the third quarter, but he fouled his fifth. Brooks also picked up his four fouls in his three quarters.
Both defensive stars watched helplessly as the Warriors shredded the Grizzlies with 40 in the third quarter point to build a 15-point lead after leading by 5 at halftime.
Ja Morant shines but doesn’t do much
It was Morant who betrayed the Grizzlies while Brooks and Jackson battled foul trouble. Although he was not very successful at three-pointer, he attacked the basket relentlessly. Morant’s scoring kept the Grizzlies in the game, but Memphis didn’t get enough help for much of the night.
The Grizzlies’ second player didn’t score in double figures until Brooks hit two free throws with 7:57 left in the fourth quarter. Santi he Aldama, Tyus Jones and Brandon Clarke each scored over nine points, but Memphis needs more points from his two other reserves.
Together, John Concher and Ziaire Williams went scoreless for most of the first three quarters. Williams scored he made a 3-pointer to get into his column, but Concher finished the game scoreless. He has scored his one point in the last three games for a total of 54 or more minutes played.
The Grizzlies will take on the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night at their home inside the FedEx Forum. Phoenix participates in that game willingly. Memphis won his last meeting on Friday by 25 points, and the Suns added star shooting guard Devin Booker, who missed the game, to their lineup.
Brooks told Booker during the game that he wanted the Suns star to play on Tuesday so he could defend him.