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News & Analysis

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
Recap

Balanced-scoring Grizzlies demolish Warriors to stay alive

May 12, 2022, 4:19 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Tyus Jones each scored 21 points and sank four 3-pointers as the host Memphis Grizzlies steamrolled the Golden State Warriors 134-95 in Wednesday night's Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals.

The Grizzlies had little trouble cutting Golden State's series lead to 3-2 despite playing without star point guard Ja Morant for the second straight game. Morant has a bone bruise in his right knee and is doubtful to play again this postseason.

Steven Adams collected 13 rebounds, Jones compiled nine assists and Jackson grabbed eight boards for second-seeded Memphis, which led by as many as 55 points. The 39-point margin of victory is the Grizzlies' largest in postseason play, topping a 124-96 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this postseason.

Klay Thompson scored 19 points, Jonathan Kuminga had 17 and Stephen Curry added 14 for the third-seeded Warriors. No Golden State player saw more than 26 minutes of action.

Golden State committed 22 turnovers while the Grizzlies had 10. Memphis made a franchise playoff record 18 3-pointers (out of 41 attempts).

The Grizzlies shot 47.5 percent overall. Dillon Brooks contributed 12 points.

Game 6 is Friday night in San Francisco.

Memphis led 77-50 at halftime and then poured it on by outscoring Golden State 42-17 in the third quarter.

Jones and Jackson connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to cap a 14-0 burst and make it 103-56.

The lead went over 50 when Ziaire Williams drilled a 3-pointer to push the gap to 113-61 with 3:20 remaining in the third.

A four-point play by Williams increased the lead to 55 with 40 seconds left in the third period. The Grizzlies held a 119-67 lead entering the final stanza, and both teams played reserves over the final 12 minutes.

Warriors forward Otto Porter Jr. missed the second half due to right foot soreness. Golden State shot 45 percent from the field and made 14 of 39 from 3-point range.

Golden State trailed 29-28 after Thompson's trey with 1:21 left in the first quarter before the Memphis onslaught kicked into high gear.

The Grizzlies scored the next 11 points to lead by 12 after Kyle Anderson's basket 37 seconds into the second quarter. Memphis used a 9-0 run to increase its lead to 53-36 and later tallied 14 straight to raise the margin to 25 with 1:49 left.

Jones' basket made it 77-50 entering the break.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors
News

Grizzlies star PG Ja Morant (knee) likely done for postseason

May 10, 2022, 10:44 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his right knee and is unlikely to play again this postseason, the team said Tuesday.

The Grizzlies said Morant is "doubtful for the remainder of the postseason but is expected to make a full recovery."

Memphis' season could be over as soon as Wednesday night. The Grizzlies face a 3-1 deficit to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference second-round series.

Morant was injured during Game 3 of the season and sat out Monday night when the Grizzlies let a 12-point, fourth-quarter lead get away in a 101-98 road loss.

Morant averaged 38.3 points, 8.3 assists and 6.7 rebounds in the series. He scored 47 points in Game 2 and 34 in Games 1 and 3.

The 22-year-old Morant averaged 27.4 points, 6.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds in 57 regular-season games. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his three-year career. He was NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2019-20 season.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors
Preview

Grizzlies on brink of elimination against Warriors

May 10, 2022, 7:00 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies face the prospects of being without star point guard Ja Morant for the second straight game when they try to stave off elimination Wednesday night against the visiting Golden State Warriors.

It may not be known until close to game time whether Morant will be available. He injured his right knee in Game 3 and sat out Monday's Game 4, won 101-98 by the host Warriors.

Golden State holds a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals and benefited by Morant's absence while overcoming a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit.

Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins declined to reveal the results of an MRI exam performed on Morant's knee.

"Obviously, we are going to continue to work with our doctors to try to figure out what is going on," Jenkins said.

Morant typically seizes control in fourth quarters and the Grizzlies felt the void while seeing their bid to tie the series slip away.

"It's a tough one. It's a tough pill to swallow," said Tyus Jones, who had 19 points while starting in place of Morant. "It felt like we were leading the whole game.

"It felt like we were in a good position. It felt like we put ourselves in a good position to win a ballgame and things didn't go our way down the stretch."

The Warriors were without coach Steve Kerr on Wednesday due to a positive COVID-19 test. It isn't yet known if Kerr will coach Game 5 though the expectation is that he won't travel to Memphis.

Associate head coach Mike Brown -- hired to coach the Sacramento Kings earlier Monday -- guided the team and is now 12-0 in the postseason while filling in for Kerr.

Still, Golden State wasn't in good shape when it was trailing by double digits. But the Warriors outscored Memphis by 15 points over the final 10:12 after sputtering offensively to that point.

Golden State star Stephen Curry struggled for the first 40 minutes before scoring 18 of his game-high 32 over the final 7:55 as his team moved within one win of reaching the Western Conference finals.

"We got a little rushed over the first six minutes and it set the tone for some ugly offense," Curry said. "The open shots didn't really feel like they were in rhythm. Credit to our defense, that's what kept us in it."

The Warriors finally pulled ahead at 94-93 when Curry made two free throws with 45.7 seconds left. He made six more down the stretch as Golden State held on.

"Nothing we figured out, it was just don't let the first three quarters influence the fact that we still had a chance to win the game," Curry said. "Shoot the shots you think you can make, play aggressive, take care of the ball. We did all of those things."

Brown saw a team that kept its cool and didn't panic.

"A lot of it has to do with the playoff experience that these guys have but their talent and IQ in my opinion is second to none," Brown said.

Curry also made four 3-pointers to raise his postseason career total to 503. He is the first NBA player to make at least 500 in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies will be back in front of their exuberant fans with their season on the line.

"You recognize the good things you did and just focus on the season isn't over yet," Jenkins said. "It's 3-1. I told them to forget what the record is in the series. You've just got to focus on just winning a game. Just go focus on winning one game right now."

--Field Level Media

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors
News

Warriors not expecting Steve Kerr in Memphis due to COVID

May 10, 2022, 2:40 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Assistant coach Mike Brown, not Steve Kerr, plans to act as head coach of the Golden State Warriors for Game 5 in Memphis on Wednesday.

Kerr tested positive for COVID-19 before Game 4, and Brown guided the Warriors to a 101-98 victory that gives Golden State at 3-1 edge in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals series.

Kerr wore a mask most of last week due to symptoms of an illness but had tested negative. He isolated after Game 3 and then learned of his positive test on Monday.

The 56-year-old has coached the Warriors since 2014 and guided the franchise to NBA titles in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Kerr has a 429-200 career record in the regular season and an 84-30 mark in the postseason.

Brown was named head coach of the Sacramento Kings before Game 3.

Brown, former head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers, owns a 347-216 record as a head coach. The 52-year-old has worked on Golden State's staff since 2016 and was part of two Warriors title teams.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors
News

Warriors coach Steve Kerr (COVID protocol) out for Game 4

May 10, 2022, 1:07 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr entered COVID-19 health and safety protocol and will miss Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinal series against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.

Associate head coach Mike Brown -- who, earlier Monday, was formally announced as the next head coach of the Sacramento Kings -- will coach the Warriors in Game 4.

Reports indicated that Kerr tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. The 56-year-old has coached the Warriors since 2014 and guided the franchise to NBA titles in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Kerr has a 429-200 career record in the regular season and an 83-30 mark in the postseason.

Brown, former head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers, owns a 347-216 record as a head coach. The 52-year-old has worked on Golden State's staff since 2016 and was part of two Warriors title teams (2017 and 2018).

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors
News

Grizzlies star Ja Morant (knee) ruled out for Game 4

May 10, 2022, 1:06 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant will miss Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals Monday night against the host Golden State Warriors.

Shortly after he became an official scratch, Morant took to Twitter to express his frustration, saying in part, "God wouldn't put something hard in your life if he thought you weren't strong enough to get thru it."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">stand tall. stay solid. <br>- God wouldn&#39;t put something hard in your life if he thought you weren&#39;t strong enough to get thru it ??</p>&mdash; Ja Morant (@JaMorant) <a href="https://twitter.com/JaMorant/status/1523828258537574400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Morant was listed as doubtful entering the day after suffering an apparent right knee injury near the end of Game 3 on Saturday. Amid an already chippy series, Golden State guard Jordan Poole came under scrutiny for grabbing Morant's knee while they both went for a loose ball.

According to multiple media outlets, there will be no discipline handed down for the play.

After the Grizzlies' shootaround Monday afternoon, Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said Morant had undergone an MRI but declined to share more about his status. Reporters at the shootaround noted that Morant was visibly limping.

Morant averaged 27.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game in his third season on his way to winning the NBA's Most Improved Player Award. He is averaging 38.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 8.3 assists through the first three games of the semifinals.

The second-seeded Grizzlies trail the third-seeded Warriors 2-1 in the best-of-seven series entering Monday.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
News

Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks remorseful over foul that injured Gary Payton II

May 10, 2022, 12:32 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks said Monday that he didn't mean to injure Gary Payton II of the Golden State Warriors during Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Brooks was assessed a flagrant-2 on a foul that fractured Payton's elbow. He was suspended for Game 3 and will return Monday night for Game 4 in San Francisco.

"It's in the past," Brooks said after Memphis' shootaround. "I didn't mean for it to hurt somebody. If I were to take it back in a moment, I would. But it's in the past."

Brooks went for a foul from behind on a breakaway, leveling Payton as he went up from the left side for a layup. Brooks' right arm hit Payton in the neck and head and propelled Payton to the floor.

Payton is out for up to four weeks as a result.

It led Warriors coach Steve Kerr to say after the game, "That wasn't physical. That was dirty ... Dillon Brooks broke the code. He broke the code."

Brooks, who said Monday he was trying to make a play on the ball, didn't understand Kerr's position.

"I don't really even know what that means," Brooks said. "It's the playoffs. Every bucket, every possession, every play counts. So I didn't understand what he meant by that."

Brooks' encounter with Payton was just one piece of an increasingly chippy playoff series. Each game has featured one ejection, including the Warriors' Draymond Green in Game 1 and the Grizzlies' Kyle Anderson in Game 3. Anderson was ejected for arguing a foul call with officials.

Warriors guard Jordan Poole received blowback for a play in Game 3 that left Grizzlies star Ja Morant limping. As of Monday evening, Morant's status for Game 4 was doubtful.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
Betting

Warriors double-digit favorites ahead of tense Game 4 clash

May 9, 2022, 7:13 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies hope to have Ja Morant available, and the Golden State Warriors are confident they will have Jordan Poole in uniform when the second- and third-seeded teams in the Western Conference playoffs collide in Game 4 of their semifinal series Monday night at San Francisco.

After Golden State had taken command of their eventual 142-112 home win in Game 3 on Saturday night, Morant limped off the court favoring his right knee with 6:19 remaining following a collision of sorts with Poole.

All participants were at a loss for words in explaining exactly what caused the injury but when the dust settled, the Grizzlies were calling for a Poole suspension, while the third-year guard called any allegations of dirty play crazy.

"It was a basketball play when we doubled him," Poole said afterward. "I hit the ball and I was going for the ball. I mean, obviously you don't want to see anybody get hurt. I'm not even that type of player. I respect everybody. Hopefully he gets better."

While the Grizzlies awaited results from Morant's knee examination Sunday, they also expected to hear from the NBA on a possible punishment for Poole, who at one point put his hand on Morant's knee shortly after making contact from behind.

No foul was called.

"Jordan Poole actually grabbed his knee and yanked it, which kind of triggered whatever happened," Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. "So I am actually going to be very curious to see what happens after that."

Several Grizzlies repeated a phrase Warriors coach Steve Kerr used in Game 2, when he insisted Memphis' Dillon Brooks "broke the code" by clobbering Gary Payton II from behind. Payton came away with a fractured elbow in the fall, and Brooks was given a one-game suspension.

Poole has scored 31, 20 and 27 points in the first three games of the series. Only Morant (115) and Stephen Curry (81) have higher point totals in the series than Poole (78).

Dillon is eligible to return for Game 4, and the Grizzlies could use the defensive specialist's help on the perimeter. Curry (30 points), Poole (27) and Klay Thompson (21) all went over 20 points in Saturday's offensive showcase.

It was the third time this postseason that the trio all scored 20 or more in the same game. The Warriors are 3-0 in those games, with two of those in the first round against the Denver Nuggets.

The 142-point explosion -- the second-highest total in Golden State postseason history -- was more than Morant could counter. One game after pouring in 47 points in Memphis' Game 2 win that evened the series, he put up a game-high 34 in the losing cause.

Morant's 115 total points are the highest ever for the first three games of a Western Conference semifinal series. Only Michael Jordan (133 in 1990 and 118 in 1996) scored more in the first three games of the Eastern Conference semis.

Grizzlies guard De'Anthony Melton noted that getting Brooks back should help Memphis at both ends of the court.

"Dillon brings a lot of fire, offensive creativity to us, and just his mojo out there," Melton said. "We're going to regroup, put this in the rear-view mirror and keep on pushing."

Melton said he expects Morant to be a part of it.

"He's like Wolverine out there," Melton said. "He could be limping one day, the next day be fine. He's a warrior. He's a competitor. He's just a hooper. Who knows what his level of injury is at? He understands his body, and he understands what the team needs, so he'll make the best decision."

The Warriors are double-digit favorites at most sportsbooks. The line opened at Golden State -8.5 at BetMGM but shifted to 10.5 with the Warriors backed by 76 percent of the handle.

The action has also been one-sided at DraftKings, where Golden State has drawn 61 percent of the spread bets and 59 percent of the handle as a 10.0-point favorite.

Regardless of who is on the court Monday night, oddsmakers expect more offensive fireworks.

The 223.5-point Over/Under at DraftKings has seen 64 percent of the bets back the Over but a whopping 94 percent of the money wagered on the Under. The market opened at 226.5 at BetMGM before moving to 224.5 with the Under drawing 52 and 68 percent of the action, respectively.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
News

Grizzlies G Dillon Brooks suspended for Game 3

May 5, 2022, 7:16 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The NBA sided with Warriors head coach Steve Kerr on Thursday, suspending Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks for the flagrant foul that resulted in Gary Payton II's fractured left elbow.

Brooks was suspended for Game 3 for his foul from behind on a breakaway, leveling Payton as he went up from the left side for a layup. Brooks' right arm hit Payton in the neck and head and propelled Payton to the floor. He landed on his left elbow and is out for up to four weeks.

"That wasn't physical. That was dirty," Kerr said, after stating playoff basketball is supposed to be physical. "Dillon Brooks broke the code. He broke the code."

The play took place early in the first quarter with Memphis leading Golden State 8-0.

Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals series is Saturday in San Francisco. The series is tied 1-1.

Brooks was issued a Flagrant 2, ejected from the game and dons a figurative bull's-eye as the Warriors adjust.

Kerr and Klay Thompson were animated and shouted at Brooks as he left the floor. Payton II, 29, emerged in his fifth NBA season as surprise contributor for the Warriors as a defensive-minded role player.

"This is a guy who's been toiling the last six years trying to make it in this league," Kerr said. "We're in the playoffs this should be time of his life, and guy comes in and whacks him in the head in mid air."

Brooks, considered the top defensive player in the Grizzlies' wing rotation, averages 18.4 points per game but has only eight points on 3-of-16 shooting in 33 minutes in the series.

Tempers flared in Game 1 of the series and Warriors forward Draymond Green was hit with another fine for "directing an obscene gesture toward the spectator stands" on his way to the locker room during Game 2. Green raised his arms and both middle fingers toward the Memphis crowd.

Green was fined $25,000, the league announced Thursday.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
News

NBA: G2 refs missed late palming violation on Ja Morant

May 4, 2022, 10:12 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The NBA said Wednesday that game officials missed a palming violation on Memphis star guard Ja Morant with 30.7 seconds left in Game 2, a game won by the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies beat the Golden State Warriors 106-101 Tuesday night to even their Western Conference semifinals series 1-1.

In its last 2-minute report, the league said the refs made an incorrect non-call on Morant palming the ball. The Grizzlies were leading 101-100 at the time.

"Morant (MEM) places his hand completely under the ball and brings it to a pause during his drive to the basket," the league said in its report.

Morant scored on the play, giving the Grizzlies a 103-100 lead. Morant finished with 47 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Had the refs blown the whistle, the Warriors would have had the ball with 30 seconds left down just one.

Game 3 of the series is Saturday in San Francisco.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Sacramento Kings
News

Warriors' Gary Payton II to have MRI on fractured elbow

May 4, 2022, 3:23 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II will have an MRI on Wednesday to further assess the injury he sustained following a flagrant foul 2 by Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal series.

Brooks wound up and slugged Payton across the head on a layup attempt, incurring the ejection at 9:08 of the first quarter on Tuesday. Payton landed awkwardly on the play and sustained a fractured left elbow, per the Warriors.

"I don't know if it was intentional, but it was dirty," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. "There is a code. This code that players follow where you never put a guy's season (or) career in jeopardy by taking somebody out in midair and clubbing him across the head, ultimately fracturing Gary's elbow. ... He broke the code. Dillon Brooks broke the code."

Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said the officials made their call when told of Kerr's comments.

"They reviewed it," Jenkins said. "They made their judgment, obviously (Brooks) made contact to the head. So going to trust what the refs did."

Payton made 1 of 2 free throws but left for the locker room afterward. He was ruled out for the rest of the game after having X-rays. He scored one point in three minutes.

"It was kind of out of line in terms of a defenseless player going up for the layup and taking a huge windup," Warriors guard Stephen Curry said of the play. "Everything bad that could have happened in that situation did. Knocked him out of the game."

Payton, who is the son of the Hall of Famer by the same name, averaged 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 17.6 minutes per game this season.

Brooks went 0 for 3 from the field and had a steal before the ejection.

Behind 47 points from Ja Morant, the Grizzlies defeated the Warriors 106-101 to tie the series at one game apiece. Game 3 will be Saturday in San Francisco.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
News

Dillon Brooks ejected, Gary Payton II leaves with injury

May 4, 2022, 3:15 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Memphis' Dillon Brooks was issued a Flagrant foul 2 and ejected while Golden State's Gary Payton II was injured in a rough start to Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals between the Warriors and the host Grizzlies on Tuesday night.

Brooks wound up and slugged Payton across the head on a layup attempt, incurring the ejection at 9:08 of the first quarter. Payton landed awkwardly on the play and left with an apparent arm injury.

Payton made 1 of 2 free throws but left for the locker room afterward. He was ruled out for the rest of the game after having X-rays. He scored one point in three minutes.

In addition, Warriors forward Draymond Green required stitches on his face after he was hit by an elbow. He returned to the court with a swollen eye to start the second quarter.

No foul was called on that play.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr called the plays "dirty" during an on-court interview with TNT.

Brooks went 0-for-3 from the field and had a steal before the ejection.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
Betting

Warriors, Grizzlies expected to put on offensive show in Game 2

May 3, 2022, 5:39 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Two former high school teammates are squarely in the spotlight as the Golden State Warriors and host Memphis Grizzlies prepare for Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series on Tuesday night.

Jordan Poole scored 31 points for the Warriors in their 117-116 victory in the best-of-seven series opener Sunday, while his former Indiana prep teammate at La Lumiere School, Jaren Jackson Jr., poured in 33 points for the Grizzlies.

Poole, who exploded onto the postseason scene with 30 points as a starter in his playoff debut against Denver last month, was even better in his first postseason reserve role, padding his team-high point total with nine assists and eight rebounds.

At age 22, Poole became the youngest Warrior ever to score 30 or more points in a conference semifinal Game 1.

Ja Morant edged Jackson with 34 points, the third-most ever by any player 22 or younger in the opening game of a conference semifinal. But Morant couldn't convert a buzzer-beating driving layup that could have flipped the final score in Memphis' favor.

"I missed a layup I normally make all the time," Morant admitted after finishing with 10 assists and nine rebounds. "Onto the next (game)."

After losing the season series 3-1 and finishing three games behind Memphis in the duel for the No. 2 seed in the Western playoffs, the Warriors threw the Grizzlies a bit of a curve in Game 1 by bringing Poole off the bench.

He responded brilliantly, including shooting a team-best 5 of 10 from 3-point distance.

While his teammates applauded his unselfishness, as evidenced by the nine assists, Poole credited Stephen Curry (24 points) and Klay Thompson (15 points).

"Being able to put the defense in a lot of rotations, the way that they're trying to guard us, it's going to be really hard to guard all three of us the same way when we're out there together," Poole observed. "It's just being able to make the right play, and get these other guys good looks."

Jackson was even more deadly than his old high-school pal from beyond the 3-point arc, burying 6 of 9.

And like Poole, there was much more to his game than just long-range shooting. He also retrieved six offensive rebounds as part of a 10-board game that completed a double-double.

In the end, even with Warriors defensive ace Draymond Green having been ejected for a flagrant foul on Brandon Clarke in the second quarter, Memphis came up short in a Game 1. That also was the scenario in the first round against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins left the arena Sunday expecting the same type of rebound that saw his team win four of the next five games against Minnesota.

"Do what we've done all season," he said of the plan moving forward. "Rest. Recover. Watch the film. Get better and come out and compete hard (in Game 2)."

The Warriors are 2.0-point favorites ahead of Game 2 at BetRivers and DraftKings and 1.5-point favorites at BetMGM, where the line has shifted from 2.5 with Golden State backed by 64 percent of the spread handle. Golden State has also drawn 58 percent of the spread handle at DraftKings, but it's Minnesota that has been supported by 77 percent at BetRivers.

Oddsmakers are expecting a high-scoring game, with all three sportsbooks setting the Over/Under market at 227.5 points. Bettors have still backed the Over with 63 percent of the handle at BetMGM and 62 percent at DraftKings, while the Under has drawn 73 percent of the action at BetRivers.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors
News

NBA: Draymond Green's Flagrant 2 stands

May 2, 2022, 6:49 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The NBA on Monday said that Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green's Flagrant 2 foul will stand.

Green was ejected with 1:18 left in the first half of Sunday's Game 1 win against the Memphis Grizzlies. With the league declining to downgrade the foul, Green now has two flagrant points. He will be suspended for one game if he reaches four.

Replays showed that Green made contact with Brandon Clarke's head while swiping down with his arm, and he grabbed Clarke's collar during the process.

Officiating crew chief Kane Fitzgerald told a pool reporter that the foul was deemed a Flagrant 2 rather than a Flagrant 1 because "the contact in total was considered unnecessary and excessive." Fitzgerald cited both the contact to Clarke's face and the "jersey grab and throw down to the floor to an airborne vulnerable player."

Per ESPN Stats & Info, it was the first ejection of Green's postseason career. It was his 130th career playoff game.

After the game, Green said he believes he was ejected for his history rather than the play itself.

"I think tonight it was probably a reputation thing more so than a hard foul," said Green, who finished with six points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.

The Warriors pulled out a 117-116 victory. Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals series is Tuesday night in Memphis.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
News

Warriors 'shocked' by Draymond Green flagrant-2 ruling

May 2, 2022, 12:12 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors finished off a 117-116 win over the host Memphis Grizzlies to open their Western Conference semifinal series despite the ejection of veteran forward Draymond Green.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said his team was "shocked" by the call of a flagrant-2 foul against Green, forcing him to leave the game with 1:18 left in the first half and the Warriors behind by a point.

Replays showed that Green made contact with Brandon Clarke's head while swiping down with his arm, and he grabbed Clarke's collar during the process.

"We knew that was a tough break that didn't go our way. We were all kind of shocked by the decision," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "But we were confident and determined and the guys stayed with it."

The Warriors' Jordan Poole stepped up for the Waarriors with a team-high 31 points, with 14 of those in the second half.

"We knew it was a hard foul, playoff foul. Draymond gives fouls like that all the time," Poole said. "Personally, I didn't think it was going to be a flagrant-2 and especially throwing him out in the first half, I didn't think it was going to happen."

According to ESPN Stats & Info, it was the first ejection of Green's postseason career. It was his 130th career playoff game.

After the flagrant-2 ruling, Green ran around the court and waved his hands at the opposing crowd as boos rained down upon him. He finished with six points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals in 17 minutes.

Officiating crew chief Kane Fitzgerald told a pool reporter that the foul was deemed a flagrant-2 rather than a flagrant-1 because "the contact in total was considered unnecessary and excessive." Fitzgerald cited both the contact to Clarke's face and the "jersey grab and throw down to the floor to an airborne vulnerable player."

NBA stars watching from home did not necessarily agree. Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers tweeted that "We gotta have better context with these rules," while Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young referred to Green's reputation as a tenacious by saying. "Can't officiate the PLAYER officiate the PLAY."

The Grizzlies, for their part, saw little controversy in the decision.

"He's been known for flagrant fouls in his career," Clarke said. "I've watched them on TV my whole life, it feels like. ... It's not shocking that he did that. It's something he's done in the past."

--Field Level Media