Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) shoots against Golden State Warriors center Kevon Looney (5) and forwards Andre Iguodala (9) and Andrew Wiggins (22) in Memphis on Tue Jan 11, 2022 (AP News photo)
Morant Leads Grizzlies To Win Over Warriors 116-108
By Barbara Mason
Tuesday night the Golden State Warriors (30-10) took on the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies (29-14). Memphis is riding on a nine-game winning streak and they will make the Warriors work for this game. They are led by Ja Morant one of the best point guards in the game today. The absence of Draymond Green would be a factor in this game. So a lot of tough challenges in this game for Golden State.
The Warriors were outplayed in the first half. The ugly turnovers were an issue and the three points shooting was almost non-existent. Golden State was three of 13 from downtown. The Warriors have been struggling offensively especially from long range and the Grizzlies have a solid offense and defense that turned the Warriors away shot after shot.
Many of the turnovers from Golden State were due to the unrelenting defense of Memphis. With the Grizzlies leading 59-51 and under one minutes left in the half, the Warriors wanted to make a small run before the clock ran out. At the half. the Warriors had cut an 18 point deficit to eight.
The points off of the 12 Warrior turnovers were hurting them while the Grizzlies were fueled by three point shots the entire half. Ja Morant finished the first half with 18 points. Going into this game we all knew he was going to be a handful and he certainly was in the first half.
Stephen Curry had 12 points and Andrew Wiggins finished the half with ten. In the third quarter the Warriors had to limit those turnovers and do their best to contain Morant.
The Warriors started the third quarter with two steals and just like that had cut the Grizzlies lead to 59-56. Golden State came alive in the second half and the three’s starting dropping giving the Warriors a 71-66 lead. Midway through the third the game had totally flipped.
We saw a different defense from the Warriors in the third quarter and Memphis starting missing those long balls. As the quarter began to run out the two teams began trading the lead. The Warriors led after three quarters 90-87.
The Grizzlies led for much of the fourth quarter by the slimmest of margins. At 6:15 Memphis led 103-99. With both Curry and Klay Thompson on the sidelines this game was in jeopardy. With 4:39 left in this game the splash brothers came in to finish the game.
The hottest team in tne NBA would try to hold off the Warriors with 2:48 left on the clock. A missed three by Golden State and Ja Morant finished off the Warriors 116-108.
The Grizzlies took 100 shots in this game to the Warriors 80, not a winning formula The turnovers killed Golden State giving Memphis their tenth win in a row. The Warriors fought hard in the second half but it was the first half deficit that lost this game for Golden State. Points off turnovers were disastrous for the Warriors.
The Warriors will now head off to Milwaukee to take on the World Champs Thursday. The tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 PM.