Posts Tagged ‘Memphis Grizzlies’

Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant is signing a five-year, $193-million designated rookie maximum extension that could be worth up to $231 million, his agent told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Morant will earn the full amount of his contract should he make one of the league’s three All-NBA teams.

The former Rookie of the Year dazzled in a breakout 2021-22 campaign, averaging 27.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 6.7 assists en route to his first All-Star appearance and a spot on the All-NBA second team.

The Grizzlies advanced to the second round of the playoffs this season after beating the Minnesota Timberwolves in a six-game series. Morant averaged 38.3 points in three contests against the Golden State Warriors before suffering an injury and watching the eventual NBA champions eliminate his team in Game 6.

The 22-year-old guard’s show-stopping athleticism and highlight-reel ability have already made him one of the faces of the NBA.

The ongoing saga between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies continues to play itself out on social media.

After Klay Thompson called out Memphis big man Jaren Jackson Jr. following Golden State’s NBA Finals victory Thursday, a fan tweeted that a Warriors-Grizzlies Christmas Day matchup in San Francisco was a near-shoo-in. Memphis star Ja Morant responded, saying he wants that game at home.

Warriors forward Draymond Green then retweeted Morant, saying, “The champs play at home.”

Morant agreed to travel to San Francisco for the potential matchup, saying the league needs to “book (that) shit.”

The Grizzlies pushed the Warriors in a six-game series in the Western Conference semifinals despite Morant missing time with injury. Golden State went on to complete its quest for a fourth championship in the last eight seasons.

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins has agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Monday, courtesy of NBA.com’s Mark Medina.

“Taylor has done an outstanding job leading our team, and this extension is well-deserved,” Grizzlies executive vice president and GM Zach Kleiman said in a statement. “The year-over-year progress under Taylor speaks for itself, but his growth-oriented, selfless, and competitive approach has been a driving force in the establishment of a sustainable culture.

“We have full confidence that Taylor will steer us to Memphis’ first championship.”

Jenkins finished second in Coach of the Year voting and led the Grizzlies to the second-best record in the Association during the regular season at 56-26. Memphis led the league in several statistical categories under Jenkins, including rebounds (49.2 per game), steals (9.8), blocks (6.5), second-chance points (18.7), and fast-break points (17.7). They became the first team in NBA history to lead the league in rebounding, steals, and blocks in a regular season.

Jenkins owns a career regular-season record of 128-99 (.564 winning percentage). Before his time in Memphis, Jenkins was an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks for five seasons and an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2018-19 campaign.

Memphis Grizzlies vice president of basketball operations Zach Kleiman was voted as the 2021-22 NBA Executive of the Year, the league announced Thursday.

Kleiman earned the overwhelming majority of first-place votes with 16. Cleveland Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman earned the second-most first-place votes with two.

Kleiman, 33, becomes the youngest Executive of the Year honoree since its inception in 1972-73.

Since taking over as the Grizzlies’ lead decision-maker in April 2019, Kleiman has orchestrated an impressive rebuild. He’s hired head coach Taylor Jenkins, selected budding star Ja Morant at No. 2 overall in 2019, traded for promising reserve forward Brandon Clarke, and drafted wing Desmond Bane in 2020, among other notable transactions. Kleiman has also signed Dillon Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr. to multi-year contract extensions.

The Grizzlies matched their previous franchise record of 56 wins this season. Memphis currently trails the Golden State Warriors 3-2 in the Western Conference semifinals. However, the Grizz are expected to be without Morant for the remainder of the postseason due to a bone bruise in his knee.

Stephen Curry praised his star counterpart Ja Morant after the Golden State Warriors eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies with a 110-96 win in Game 6 at Chase Center.

“His numbers are crazy. The sky’s the limit,” Curry said, according to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz.

Morant, who missed the Grizzlies’ last three postseason contests because of a bone bruise in his knee, averaged an eye-popping 38.3 points, 8.3 assists, and 6.7 rebounds in the first three games of the series. The Murray State product scored efficiently, converting 50.6% of his field-goal attempts while knocking down 43.3% of his 10 3-point tries per game.

Curry said the Grizzlies will remain a legitimate playoff threat with a talent like Morant leading the charge.

“They are going to be around for a long time, fighting for Western Conference prowess. So we’ll enjoy this and keep moving toward our goal, but you have to understand that they are going to be around for the long haul, and he’s a problem,” Curry said. “So definitely an amazing matchup, fun, entertaining, high-level basketball, all the antics and pettiness and all that stuff, I love all of it.”

Morant helped the Grizzlies reach the playoffs in two consecutive seasons after missing out as a rookie in the 2019-20 campaign.

Golden State will face either the Phoenix Suns or Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals.

This kind of playoff triumph is three years in the making for Klay Thompson, who endured countless hours of rehab and heartache to reach this point again.

And after another spectacular shooting performance on the big stage, coach Mike Brown just wanted to offer up a congratulatory hug.

Instead, Thompson told Brown how much he will miss him next season when Brown takes over the Sacramento Kings — but they still have plenty of basketball left together.

Thompson knocked down eight 3-pointers on the way to 30 points, Stephen Curry scored 29 with six 3s, and the Warriors eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies with a 110-96 win in Game 6 on Friday night.

A trip to the Western Conference finals is next, and coach Steve Kerr should be healthy from his bout with COVID-19.

“Honestly, especially the perspective I’ve gained from the injuries I’ve had, to now be able to compete at highest level and be one of the final four teams, it’s a feeling that’s hard to describe honestly,” Thompson said. “It’s truly amazing and it just inspires me to keep going because I think we still have great basketball ahead of me.”

Curry found his shooting touch late and made two straight baskets for a 78-77 lead entering the final 12 minutes. Draymond Green contributed 14 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. Kevon Looney returned to the starting lineup and grabbed 22 rebounds while Andrew Wiggins scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth with a pair of timely 3s.

It was Curry and Green who pushed for Looney to start after the Warriors discussed it on the flight home from Memphis after Wednesday’s embarrassing defeat.

Golden State — sent home by Memphis in the play-in tournament last year — withstood a testy series to advance to the conference finals for the first time since 2019, when the franchise reached its fifth straight NBA Finals before losing to Toronto.

The third-seeded Warriors will face the Phoenix-Dallas winner in the conference finals. Game 7 of that series is Sunday in Phoenix.

Thompson is back shining in the playoffs after his 2 1/2-year absence with a pair of serious injuries, first recovering from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee and then an operation for a torn right Achilles tendon.

“That’s Klay. He expects to go out there and play great,” Brown said. “We expect him to go out there and play great.”

“Whoop that trick!” the delighted, raucous home crowd chanted in the waning moments, the fans’ steal away from Memphis.

“It was good to see the fans embrace that,” Green said.

Dillon Brooks scored 30 points with a career-best seven 3-pointers but picked up his second flagrant foul of the series. Desmond Bane added 25.

Curry checked back in for the final 8:21 and delivered a 3 with 5:45 remaining off a beautiful bounce pass by Green. Looney found Green for an easy dunk the next time down, capping a decisive 10-0 run.

Brooks considered the challenge of facing the Splash Brothers something that will only make Memphis better.

“They know that we’re going to come every single year,” he said. “We’re young, they’re getting old so they know we’re coming every single year.”

After Wednesday’s 134-95 debacle on the Grizzlies’ home floor in which they trailed by as many as 55, the Warriors were determined to do everything better, especially cutting down on the 22 turnovers leading to 29 points.

The Warriors outrebounded the Grizzlies 70-44, becoming the first team to grab 70 rebounds in a playoff game since San Antonio had 75 against Denver on May 4, 1983.

Bane scored the first two baskets of the game before the Warriors ran off 10 consecutive points, with a pair of layups by Green and a 3 by both Curry and Thompson.

Looney started after Jonathan Kuminga had the previous three games following the injury to guard Gary Payton II. He broke his left elbow in an awkward fall after being hit over the head by Brooks in Game 2 that earned Brooks a Flagrant 2 foul and one-game suspension.

He was booed loudly again at every chance by the sellout crowd at Chase Center. When Payton was shown on the big screen during a first-quarter timeout, he received a rousing ovation and touched his hand to his heart before encouraging them to get louder.

Memphis again played without All-Star guard Ja Morant, who missed his third straight game with a bone bruise in his troublesome right knee that the Grizzlies blamed on Jordan Poole pulling on the knee while going for a loose ball in Game 3.

“Ja is one of the best point guards in this league, so you guys know that obviously it would change,” Brooks said. “But we made do with what we had.”

THOMPSON’S TOUCH

Thompson shot 11 for 22 — 8 of 14 from long range — and notched his fourth career postseason game with eight 3s to tie Ray Allen, Curry, and Damian Lillard for most in NBA history.

“We went on a two-year hiatus from the playoffs and mostly due to his absence,” Green said.

TIP-INS

Grizzlies: Brooks had three flagrant points and finished one from an automatic one-game suspension. … Memphis missed its final 10 shots of the second quarter. … The Grizzlies held a 55-37 rebounding advantage in Game 5.

Warriors: Curry was 6 for 17 from deep. … Looney’s 11 first-quarter rebounds were a career high for any quarter. … F Otto Porter Jr. was out with soreness in his right foot. … Veteran Andre Iguodala, still sidelined with a left cervical disc injury, is scheduled to be re-evaluated again later next week.

FRIDAY THE 13TH

The Warriors had a playoff game on Friday the 13th for just the second time in franchise history, previously when they beat the Bucks 100-86 on April 13, 1973, in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals to win the series 4-2, according to Elias.

Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane and Tyus Jones each scored 21 points and the Memphis Grizzlies routed the Golden State Warriors 134-95 on Wednesday night to avoid elimination and force a sixth game in the Western Conference semifinal.

Dillon Brooks added 12 points for Memphis. Ziaire Williams and Brandon Clarke had 11 apiece and De’Anthony Melton 10. Steven Adams had 13 rebounds, six offensive.

The Grizzlies never trailed, turning in their best performance of this series to pull to 3-2 even with All-Star guard Ja Morant sitting out his second straight game because of a bone bruise in his right knee. They improved to 4-11 when facing elimination.

“We knew what was at stake,” Jackson said. “We didn’t change anything, though. We just calmed down, looked at the film, understand what we had to take away from the last game and just went out there and executed.”

Memphis scored 77 points in the first half, the most in franchise postseason history. The Grizzlies pushed their lead to 55 in the third quarter, threatening the three biggest postseason blowouts in NBA history. Their 52-point lead after three tied for the largest in a playoff game in the past 70 years.

“Obviously, this was a very impressive win for our group, great bounce-back for sure,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said.

When Memphis fans chanted “Whoop That Trick! Whoop That Trick!” early in the fourth, Stephen Curry laughed on the court laughing while Draymond Green swung a towel in unison with the crowd.

Game 6 is Friday night in San Francisco, where the Warriors have won five straight playoff games and their last seven overall.

Klay Thompson led Golden State with 19 points, Jonathan Kuminga added 17, Curry had 14 and Damion Lee and Moses Moody each had 10.

The Warriors lost for the first time with assistant Mike Brown filling in for coach Steve Kerr, who missed his second straight game since testing positive for COVID before Game 4.

Golden State had 22 turnovers.

“We have to settle down on the offensive end of the floor …,” Brown said. “When you have turnovers like we did tonight, especially early on, it kind of snowballs. It gets them out in transition. It gives them confidence and it kind of deflates us a little bit.”

The Grizzlies got back to doing the things that helped the post the second-best record during the regular season. They outrebounded Golden State and dominated on the offensive boards. They forced turnovers and got their best production from the bench of this series.

Golden State, thanks to Jordan Poole coming off the bench, had outscored Memphis’ reserves each of the first four games. Facing elimination, the Grizzlies had a 28-8 edge through the first two quarters and finished with a 52-35 margin.

Memphis led 38-28 at the end of the first quarter and continued a 24-8 run into the second quarter to go up 53-36t. They finished the second on a 20-4 run, including 14 straight, to outscore Golden State 39-22 for a 77-50 lead at halftime.

Then the Grizzlies opened the third quarter outscoring Golden State 20-6, prompting fans to start chanting “Whoop That Trick!” Memphis kept pushing, outscoring Golden State 42-17 in the third for a 119-67 lead going into the fourth.

Brown benched most of his starters by 3:44 of the third, and Jenkins followed to start the fourth resting up for a flight to California and Game 6.

TIP-INS

Warriors: The 77 points allowed in the first half matched the most allowed all season. They also gave up 77 on Jan. 13 at Milwaukee. … The Warriors also fell to 12-4 in Game 5s since 2015. … Nemanja Bjelica started the third quarter in place of Jonathan Kuminga. Bjelica had played only four minutes in this series. … Otto Porter Jr. played 12 minutes before being sidelined by a sore right foot.

Grizzlies: They matched their most first-half points, also scoring 77 against New Orleans on March 8. They did it by outscoring Golden State 24-5 on second-chance points with a 18-4 edge on the offensive boards. … They went 20-5 without Morant during the regular season and are 1-1 in this series.

“This is definitely impressive but to use our players’ phrase, ‘We deep,’” Jenkins said. “I mean we’re deep. It’s as simple as that. I think we say that not arrogantly, we say that confidently because anybody that steps out on the floor can make an impact for us.”

POSTSEASON BLOWOUTS

The Bucks also led Philadelphia by 52 (124-72) on March 30, 1970. Denver beat New Orleans by 58 on April 27, 2009, matching the margin Minneapolis beat St. Louis on March 19, 1956. Golden State beat the Los Angeles Lakers by 56 on April 21, 1973.

GRIZZLIES’ D

Memphis scored 25 points off turnovers in the first half — most by any team in the 1st half over the last 25 postseasons. The Warriors had been averaging 19 turnovers a game in this series and had 14 by halftime and finished with 20.

BROWN’S FIRST LOSS

Brown, the next coach of the Sacramento Kings, had been 12-0 coaching the Warriors in the postseason, winning 11 straight in the 2017 playoffs. He also won Game 4 when the Warriors took the lead for the first time with 45.7 seconds left to pull out a win for a 3-1 series lead.

Stephen Curry converted eight free throws over the final 45.7 seconds on the way to 32 points, leading the Golden State Warriors’ fourth-quarter comeback for a 101-98 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night and a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

Curry also dished out eight assists and grabbed five rebounds as Golden State rallied to win without coach Steve Kerr after he tested positive for COVID-19 less than two hours before tipoff.

Curry took charge just like he has so many times on the playoff stage and now his Warriors are one win from a trip to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2019. He tied it at 90 on a fall-away baseline jumper with 3:25 to go and his two free throws with 45.7 seconds to go gave the Warriors a 94-93 lead, their first of the night.

Tyus Jones had 19 points, six rebounds and five assists as Memphis missed injured All-Star Ja Morant. Dillon Brooks returned from a one-game suspension and struggled mightily, missing a 3-point try with 53 seconds left and finishing 5 for 19 with 12 points, eight assists and five rebounds.

Andrew Wiggins had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Klay Thompson scored 14 points despite missing all seven of his 3-point attempts for the cold-shooting Warriors, who didn’t have to contend with do-everything Morant this time. The Grizzlies guard missed the game with soreness in his right knee after Jordan Poole grabbed him while going for a loose ball late in Game 3 — leading Morant and Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins to question Poole’s intentions.

It remained unclear whether Morant would be back for Game 5 on Wednesday in Memphis.

Brooks sat out Game 3 as a penalty by the league for his Flagrant 2 foul that injured Gary Payton II in Game 2, when Brooks hit the Golden State guard over the head on a driving layup attempt and Payton fell hard and broke his left elbow. Kerr called it a “dirty” play and said Brooks had broken an NBA code of conduct.

Brooks was booed nearly every time he touched the ball, fouled or when he checked back into the game.

Golden State trailed 69-62 going into the fourth quarter after Desmond Bane’s 32-foot 3-pointer beat the third-quarter buzzer. However, both teams struggled all night to make their 3s.

Kerr was replaced by associate head coach Mike Brown, who agreed Sunday to become the Sacramento Kings new coach after this postseason run.

Poole scored 14 off the bench for the Warriors as they survived a nail-biter following a postseason-record point total in Saturday’s 142-112 Game 3 blowout.

CURRY’S KICKS

Curry sported special edition pair of orange Curry 9 Flow sneakers with colorful decorations to honor the late TNT broadcaster Craig Sager and his impact on the NBA.

Curry will autograph the shoes for auction on Wednesday on the NBA auction website with all proceeds going to the SagerStrong Foundation. The two-time MVP changed to lavender-colored sneakers in the second half.

TIP-INS

Grizzlies: C Steven Adams, who returned from the health and safety protocols to play six minutes in the waning moments of Saturday’s blowout, started and contributed 10 points and 15 rebounds as Memphis did a better job staying with the Warriors on the boards — outrebounded 54-48. … The Grizzlies were 9 of 35 on 3s.

Warriors: The Warriors committed 11 first-half turnovers and 16 total. … Golden State started 0 for 15 from deep before Otto Porter Jr. connected 3:24 before halftime. Thompson missed all seven of his 3s and Curry his initial five before becoming the first player in NBA history to make 500 postseason 3-pointers when he connected 46.2 seconds before halftime. … The Warriors were the first team to go 0 of 15 from long range to start a game since the 2011 Thunder were 0 for 16 against Dallas in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals, according to Elias. … The Warriors had no immediate additional positive COVID tests, the team said.

Now, Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies are calling out the Golden State Warriors for causing unnecessary injury.

Morant re-injured his troublesome right knee late in the game when Jordan Poole grabbed it as they fought for a loose ball late in the Warriors’ 142-112 victory that embarrassed the Grizzlies on Saturday night and gave Golden State a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

Morant left Chase Center without speaking to reporters but posted and later deleted a video of the play on his Twitter feed with the words “broke the code,” a reference Warriors coach Steve Kerr had used five days earlier when Dillon Brooks’ hard foul in Game 2 sidelined Gary Payton II.

Poole and Andrew Wiggins swarmed Morant as he dribbled at the top of the 3-point arc when Morant struggled to keep possession — and Poole described it as “a basketball play.”

“When we doubled him, I hit the ball, l was going for the ball. Obviously, you don’t want to see anybody get hurt, I’m not even that type of player,” Poole said. “I respect everybody. Obviously, hopefully, he gets better and we can see him out there next game.”

Brooks was suspended for his Flagrant 2 foul in the first quarter Tuesday night when he pounded the head of a driving Payton, who landed awkwardly and fractured his left elbow. He will be sidelined indefinitely, also with ligament and muscle damage.

Kerr said the play was “dirty” and broke an NBA “code” injuring someone and threatening his career, while Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins and his Grizzlies players defended their hard-nosed style as not dirty at all.

Draymond Green and Golden State kept cool from the opening tip — methodically running away with it. Instead, Memphis forward Kyle Anderson got ejected with 6:19 left for arguing an offensive foul.

Stephen Curry scored 30 points, Klay Thompson had 21 and nine rebounds and Golden State shut down Morant’s supporting cast.

A 3 by Morant just before the halftime buzzer got the Grizzlies to 64-57 at the break and gave him 17 of his 34 points after a 47-point performance in Game 2. But Morant couldn’t do it alone for Memphis, and he was done after rubbing his tender right knee and limping off with 6:19 to play before heading to the locker room.

“He’s getting evaluated now. Nothing further. We just watched the replay,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “He was going after a dribble and Jordan Poole actually grabbed his knee and yanked it, which kind of triggered whatever happened, so I’m actually going to be very curious to see what happens after that.”

Kerr said he “didn’t even notice the play.”

Brooks will be back for Game 4 on Monday night at Chase Center, where the raucous sellout crowd included two women holding signs of Payton’s face insisting the Warriors “Win it for Gary.” It’s unclear if Morant will be fine to play.

“I’ve been through a tough knee injury, and I don’t think there’s any malicious intent from Jordan,” Thompson said. “I don’t even think he’s strong enough to affect somebody’s knee. But we’re not out there trying to hurt people or trying to club people in the back of the head on a fast break. We play the game the right way and I’m going to have his back.”

Golden State dominated with a balanced attack and energy on both ends after Green called for the offense to do more to better the defense. He dished out eight assists, five points, and five rebounds.

“The shot selection was much improved,” Kerr said.

Poole scored 27 points off the bench and Andrew Wiggins added 17 points for Golden State, which used a 10-0 run out of halftime to take command for good.

“We’ve got another game on Monday,” Poole said when asked what he expects next given the latest back-and-forth between the rivals.

Rookie Jonathan Kuminga provided a spark starting in Payton’s place, while Ziare Williams was in for Brooks.

Curry missed his initial two shots then scored his first points of the game by making a big 3 with 0.9 left in the first as the Warriors trailed 28-26.

Morant hit a 31-foot 3-pointer midway through the first and Williams dunked shortly after for a 21-8 lead and Memphis made 6-of-9 shots to start the game. But the Grizzlies went cold and made only three of the next 12 and watched the Warriors close the quarter with an 18-7 burst.

“We were just too frenetic to start off the game,” Kerr said.

THOMPSON’S TOUCH

Curry’s Splash Brother, Thompson shot 8-for-13 with four 3-pointers in a solid shooting night.

He had been 11-for-38 from the floor, including 5-of-22 on 3-pointers, so far in the series before finding a better groove. Kerr figured it would happen soon enough.

“When we’re getting good shots, the chances of Klay getting hot are much greater, and when he gets hot, our team takes on a different look,” Kerr said. “We just become much tougher to guard.”

ADAMS’ ABSENCE

Grizzlies center Steven Adams was available to play for the first time this series after coming out of the league health and safety protocols but the big man didn’t play until the game was out of hand.

TIP-INS

Grizzlies: G Desmond Bane’s troublesome back was sore during Game 2 but has improved. “His back is progressing. I don’t think he’s at full strength like he was in the regular season but he’s the ultimate competitor,” Jenkins said. Bane had 16 points in 29 minutes. … Memphis shot 6 of 11 from 3-point range in the opening quarter.

Warriors: The Warriors outrebounded the Grizzlies 21-14 in the first half and 53-37 overall. … Golden State is 4-0 playing at home during this postseason and 49-11 dating to the 2015 title run that ended with the franchise’s first championship in 40 years.

Ja Morant scored 47 points to match his postseason high and carry the Memphis Grizzlies into a tie in the Western Conference semifinals with a 106-101 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.

Morant scored the last 15 points for Memphis, starting with 4:16 left. He drove and turned around a defender before hitting a 7-foot jumper with 1:42 left to put Memphis ahead to stay at 100-99. He added four free throws and a 9-footer finishing with 18 in the fourth quarter.

The NBA’s Most Improved Player, who also had 47 in Game 2 against Utah last year, became only the third player in league history to have multiple 45-point games in the postseason before turning 23. The other two? LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

Ziaire William hit four 3s and finished with 14 points off the bench. Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 12 points before fouling out for the third time in eight games this postseason. Brandon Clarke added 10 points.

Now the youngest team to reach the semifinal round in the last 25 years heads to San Francisco for Game 3 on Saturday night knowing the series will return to Memphis for Game 5.

Stephen Curry finished with 27 points on 3-of-11 shooting outside the arc. Jordan Poole added 20 off the bench but was 1 of 6 from 3. Andrew Wiggins had 16, going 1 of 7 from 3. Klay Thompson finished with 12 points and was 2 of 12 from 3. The Warriors shot just 7 of 38 from 3-point range.

The Warriors, in the semifinals for the seventh time in 10 years, had their chances. Trailing 104-101, Curry passed to Green, who tossed it to Thompson, who traveled with 17 seconds left. Morant hit two free throws for the final margin.

The Grizzlies are coming off the franchise’s first series win in seven years. But a team that was the NBA’s second-youngest squad during the regular season is trying to take Memphis past the second round, something this franchise has done only once back in 2013.

It didn’t get easier when Dillon Brooks, averaging 15 points this postseason and whose job was defending Curry, was ejected with 9:08 left in the first quarter after a hard foul on Warriors guard Gary Payton II. Payton went to the locker room for X-rays on his left elbow. He didn’t return.

Green, ejected from Game 1 for his own Flagrant 2, went down a couple minutes after Brooks’ ejection. He went to the locker room, flashing the middle digit on each hand at the fans. He returned for the second quarter after getting stitches for a cut at his right eye that was nearly swollen shut by halftime.

Memphis scored the first eight points of the game and led 33-25 after the hectic first quarter with Morant scoring 14, Jackson 10. Curry had 11 for Golden State with Brooks in the locker room. The second quarter got a bit sloppy at times with the Warriors going 2 of 11 outside the arc with five turnovers.

The Grizzlies led 56-51 at halftime with Morant scoring the final four points of the second for Memphis, giving him 23.

Curry and Poole fueled a big third quarter in Game 1 combining for 23 points. This time, Curry scored four points and Poole had six, but Golden State finished the third on a 13-3 run to tie it up at 77. Morant was hit in the face in the final seconds and went to the bench saying he couldn’t see out of his left eye.

Golden State took its first lead of the game within the opening minute of the fourth on a layup by Poole, and the Warriors led by as much as 81-77. Memphis answered with a 9-2 run capped by back-to-back 3s from Williams, who missed the last two playoff games with a sore right knee.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Now are 39-34 in Game 2s and 18-9 since the 2015 playoffs. … Thompson needed only one 3 to reach 400 for his career in the playoffs. He knocked that down with 7:16 left in the first quarter. … They outrebounded Memphis matching their postseason high for a second straight game at 52-47.

Grizzlies: Morant snapped a streak of six straight double-doubles that made him the youngest in 30 years with that long a streak in one postseason. … Jackson tied Zach Randolph for third on the franchise’s career blocks list in the postseason with his 24th a minute into the third quarter. … They shot 14 of 45 from 3.

IN THE CROWD

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was at the game with three former Spartans in this game, including Warriors forward Draymond Green. Izzo posed for a photo before the game with Xavier Tillman Sr. and Jackson.