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News & Analysis

NBA: Playoffs-Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors
Recap

Warriors pull away late, close out Grizzlies in Game 6

May 14, 2022, 5:02 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Wiggins gave Golden State the lead for good on a 3-pointer with 6:29 to go and the Warriors earned a sixth trip to the Western Conference finals in the past eight years with a 110-96 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday in Game 6 of their first-round series in San Francisco.

Klay Thompson had a game-high-tying 30 points, Stephen Curry added 29 and Kevon Looney led a dominant effort on the boards with a career-high 22 rebounds for the third-seeded Warriors, who successfully rebounded from a 39-point shellacking in Game 5 at Memphis.

The Warriors, who won three championships between 2015 and '18 but missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons, will face either top-seeded Phoenix or fourth-seeded Dallas in the Western finals. The Suns host the Mavericks in a decisive Game 7 on Sunday.

After neither team led by more than nine points in a tightly contested first three quarters, the sides traded the lead three times and mixed in a pair of ties before Wiggins buried his go-ahead 3-pointer for a 90-89 advantage.

Wiggins then added a dunk, Curry a 3-pointer and Draymond Green a dunk off a Looney assist as Golden State scored the next seven points to go up 97-89 with 5:04 remaining.

The second-seeded Grizzlies, who effectively lost home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series with a home loss in Game 1, got no closer than seven after that.

Thompson's 30 points came on 11-for-22 shooting, including 8-for-14 from 3-point range. Curry hit 10 of his 27 shots and six of his 17 3-point attempts. They combined for 14 of Golden State's 20 3-pointers, as the Warriors outscored the Ja Morant-less Grizzlies 60-45 from beyond the arc.

Wiggins finished with 18 points and Jordan Poole had 12 for Golden State. Green dished out a game-high-tying eight assists to complement a 14-point, 15-rebound double-double.

Golden State overcame 19 turnovers by outrebounding Memphis 70-44, including 25-10 on the offensive boards. Half of Looney's 22 rebounds, eight more than he'd ever previously recorded in a playoff game and four more than he ever had a regular-season game, came on the offensive end.

Wiggins was a third Warrior with double-digit rebounds, grabbing 10 to complete the team's second double-double.

Memphis' Dillon Brooks, who served a one-game suspension earlier for a flagrant foul that knocked Gary Payton II out of the series, matched Thompson for game-high scoring honors with 30 points. He made 7 of 15 long-range attempts.

Desmond Bane buried four 3-pointers on a 25-point night for the Grizzlies, while Jaren Jackson Jr. added 12 points and four blocks. Steven Adams had a team-high 10 rebounds and Tyus Jones logged seven points, eight assists and nine rebounds.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors
Betting

Warriors hefty favorites to polish off Grizzlies in Game 6

May 13, 2022, 8:01 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies may have the momentum, but the Golden State Warriors have history on their side when the Western Conference semifinals continue Friday night with Game 6 in San Francisco.

Facing elimination in the best-of-seven Wednesday and lining up without leading scorer Ja Morant, the Grizzlies dominated Golden State on both ends of the court in a historically lopsided 134-95 home win in Game 5.

A second straight Grizzlies win would send the series back to Memphis for Game 7, an advantage the second-seeded club earned by finishing three games ahead of the third-seeded Warriors in the regular season.

But Golden State's 117-116 win at Memphis in Game 1 flipped the home-court edge in the series to the Warriors, giving the recent three-time NBA champions the inside track to earning a berth in the Western Finals for the sixth time in eight seasons.

"We've shown we're a resilient team this year," Golden State star Stephen Curry insisted after the Game 5 blowout, the largest in the postseason for the club since 2014. "We have the right mindset, the right approach, and all the tools we need to show who we really are in Game 6."

The Grizzlies have been well-backed as 8.5-point underdogs at BetMGM, where they have drawn 71 percent of the spread bets and 74 percent of the handle. The 8.0-point line at DraftKings has drawn split action, with the Warriors backed by 52 percent of the bets while the Grizzlies have been supported by a whopping 89 percent of the handle.

The Warriors are expected to still be without coach Steve Kerr, who tested positive for COVID-19 before Game 4. Longtime assistant coach Mike Brown directed the Warriors in in Game 4 and Game 5. Brown has been named as head coach of the Sacramento Kings, effective after the season.

At home, the Warriors have been unbeatable during the playoffs. They won three home games in a row by an average of 13.3 points over the Denver Nuggets in Round 1 and crushed the Grizzlies 142-112 in San Francisco in Game 3 of this series as the visitors watched Morant go down with a knee injury.

But Memphis, as it has done all season, has responded well to seeing its star in street clothes on the sidelines. The Grizzlies were without Morant for 25 games in the regular season, winning 20 of them. And in Game 4 they led for almost 46 of the 48 minutes despite shooting poorly (41.7 percent overall, 25.7 percent on 3-pointers) but the Warriors escaped with a 101-98 decision.

Then in Game 5, the Grizzlies' shots fell at a rate of 47.5 percent, including 43.9 percent on 3-point shots, and they buried the Warriors early. Memphis led by 10 after the first, 27 after the second, and 52 points after the third quarter. The lead topped out at 55.

The Warriors had averaged 119 points in their first eight playoff games, but they have averaged just 98 over the last two.

Since their championship run began in 2015, the Warriors have won six of eight Game 6s, including a 108-95 win at Memphis that ended their second-round series seven years ago.

That's ancient history to the Grizzlies, who began the season as the third-youngest team in the NBA. Morant and many of their other players were still in high school in 2015.

One of those guys, 22-year-old Jaren Jackson Jr., is the key to the Grizzlies' chances in Game 6, teammate Dillon Brooks insists.

"They got no one to guard him, no one to stop him," Brooks claimed. "I try to tell him to stay aggressive, and you're a walking mismatch out there for every single player that guards you. So just keep attacking."

Jackson has topped 20 points three times in the series, including a pair of 21-point efforts since Morant left the lineup.

The Warriors hope to counter with defensive ace Draymond Green, a fellow Michigan State alum, albeit a decade earlier.

"It doesn't feel good losing by as much as we did," Warriors veteran Klay Thompson admitted after Wednesday's loss. "But it's just a loss. You flush it and you remind yourself who you are.

"We're going to play with a 100-percent effort (in Game 6). I like our chances."

The 218.5-point Over/Under at DraftKings falls smack in the middle of where the market opened at BetMGM (219.5) and where it stood as of Friday afternoon (217.5). The Over has drawn 72 percent of the bets and 57 percent of the spread at DraftKings while the Under has been backed by 53 and 68 percent of the action, respectively at BetMGM.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors
Preview

Warriors return home to try to finish off Grizzlies

May 12, 2022, 10:59 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies may have the momentum, but the Golden State Warriors have history on their side when the Western Conference semifinals continue Friday night with Game 6 in San Francisco.

Facing elimination in the best-of-seven Wednesday and lining up without leading scorer Ja Morant, the Grizzlies dominated Golden State on both ends of the court in a historically lopsided 134-95 home win in Game 5.

A second straight Grizzlies win would send the series back to Memphis for Game 7, an advantage the second-seeded club earned by finishing three games ahead of the third-seeded Warriors in the regular season.

But Golden State's 117-116 win at Memphis in Game 1 flipped the home-court edge in the series to the Warriors, giving the recent three-time NBA champions the inside track to earning a berth in the Western Finals for the sixth time in eight seasons.

"We've shown we're a resilient team this year," Golden State star Stephen Curry insisted after the Game 5 blowout, the largest in the postseason for the club since 2014. "We have the right mindset, the right approach, and all the tools we need to show who we really are in Game 6."

The Warriors are expected to still be without coach Steve Kerr, who tested positive for COVID-19 before Game 4. Longtime assistant coach Mike Brown directed the Warriors in in Game 4 and Game 5. Brown has been named as head coach of the Sacramento Kings, effective after the season.

At home, the Warriors have been unbeatable during the playoffs. They won three home games in a row by an average of 13.3 points over the Denver Nuggets in Round 1 and crushed the Grizzlies 142-112 in San Francisco in Game 3 of this series as the visitors watched Morant go down with a knee injury.

But Memphis, as it has done all season, has responded well to seeing its star in street clothes on the sidelines. The Grizzlies were without Morant for 25 games in the regular season, winning 20 of them. And in Game 4 they led for almost 46 of the 48 minutes despite shooting poorly (41.7 percent overall, 25.7 percent on 3-pointers) but the Warriors escaped with a 101-98 decision.

Then in Game 5, the Grizzlies' shots fell at a rate of 47.5 percent, including 43.9 percent on 3-point shots, and they buried the Warriors early. Memphis led by 10 after the first, 27 after the second, and 52 points after the third quarter. The lead topped out at 55.

The Warriors had averaged 119 points in their first eight playoff games, but they have averaged just 98 over the last two.

Since their championship run began in 2015, the Warriors have won six of eight Game 6s, including a 108-95 win at Memphis that ended their second-round series seven years ago.

That's ancient history to the Grizzlies, who began the season as the third-youngest team in the NBA. Morant and many of their other players were still in high school in 2015.

One of those guys, 22-year-old Jaren Jackson Jr., is the key to the Grizzlies' chances in Game 6, teammate Dillon Brooks insists.

"They got no one to guard him, no one to stop him," Brooks claimed. "I try to tell him to stay aggressive, and you're a walking mismatch out there for every single player that guards you. So just keep attacking."

Jackson has topped 20 points three times in the series, including a pair of 21-point efforts since Morant left the lineup.

The Warriors hope to counter with defensive ace Draymond Green, a fellow Michigan State alum, albeit a decade earlier.

"It doesn't feel good losing by as much as we did," Warriors veteran Klay Thompson admitted after Wednesday's loss. "But it's just a loss. You flush it and you remind yourself who you are.

"We're going to play with a 100-percent effort (in Game 6). I like our chances."

--Field Level Media

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies-Media Day
News

Grizzlies' Zach Kleiman is NBA Executive of Year

May 12, 2022, 3:54 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman was named the 2021-22 NBA Executive of the Year on Thursday.

Kleiman, 33, is the youngest recipient of the award, presented annually since 1972-73 and voted on by his peers.

Kleiman, who is also the team's executive vice president of operations, helped to assemble a Memphis roster that finished 56-26 this season. The Grizzlies matched a franchise record for wins and earned their highest seed (No. 2) ever in the Western Conference playoffs.

He received 16 first-place votes and 85 total points. Tied for second with 27 points each were Cleveland Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman and Chicago Bulls executive VP of operations Arturas Karnisovas.

Kleiman is the second Grizzlies executive to win the honor, joining Jerry West (2003-04).

Memphis routed Golden State 134-95 in Game 5 on Wednesday night but still trails the Warriors 3-2 in the best-of-seven conference semifinal series. Game 6 is Friday night in San Francisco.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors
News

Warriors' Otto Porter Jr. exits due to foot injury

May 12, 2022, 3:27 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Golden State forward Otto Porter Jr. missed the second half of the Warriors' Wednesday playoff game against the host Memphis Grizzlies due to right foot soreness.

Porter was on the court when the first half ended with Golden State trailing 77-50. He was examined at halftime and the club ruled him out early in the third quarter.

The 28-year-old Georgetown product was scoreless in 12 minutes before exiting. He missed all three of his field-goal attempts, all from 3-point range.

Porter scored in double digits in each of the previous two games. He tallied 13 points in Game 3 and 12 points in Game 4.

Memphis played 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.

--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: 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