Back-to-back threes from Jonas Valanciunas and another from Dillon Brooks got the Grizzlies out to an early 13-6 lead. Threes from Grayson Allen and Ja Morant would increase that lead even more to 13 at 24-11. Eventually, that lead would inch up to 14 with 1:26 left in the quarter. Much like these two teams’ last meeting in Memphis, Draymond Green was the motor for the Warriors, keeping them in the game by scoring 7 points with 2 blocks in the period. The Grizzlies took a 29-20 lead into the 2nd.
A three from D’Angelo Russell to close out the 1st, plus a Ky Bowman three to start the 2nd dropped the lead to 6, and two quick fouls by Dillon Brooks helped the Warriors get it down to 4 just 2:13 into the quarter. An Omari Spellman three would close it to 35-32 before Morant answered with a three of his own. Later, Russell and Allen would again trade threes to keep Memphis up by 5. Memphis would close the half on a 12-7 run to lead 54-47 at the half.
Draymond Green led all scorers in the half with 14 points while Alec Burks was Golden State’s only other scorer in double figures with 11. Grayson Allen paced the Grizzlies with 13 off the bench, while Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant added 12 and 10 respectively. Memphis had 17 assists on 18 made shots in the first half.
Golden State would spend the first 4:00 of the 3rd closing the lead down to just 2 points, but threes from Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. kept the Grizzlies in front. D’Angelo Russell would close it down to just 1 point, 66-65 with 6:47 left in the quarter. Memphis used some hot shooting to close out the quarter 23-14 to take a 10 point lead into the 4th.
Valanciunas found himself on the bench early in the 4th with 5 fouls, leaving Jackson as the defacto big for most of the final frame. Ja Morant used his playmaking ability to extend the Memphis lead to 15 with 8:18 to go before Jaren would have to sit with his 5th foul. Valanciunas wouldn’t be back in for long as he fouled out with 5:48 left. Golden State kept the pressure on, closing the game to 106-100 before Ja Morant drove the lane and threw down a dunk to stop the momentum with 1:19 to go. The Warriors would get no closer as memphis picked up the win.
Morant led all scorers with 26 points and 7 assists, while Jonas Valanciunas had another double-double with 13 points and 10 boards. D’Angelo Russell and Alec Burks both had 18 points for Golden State.
Memphis returns to action Wednesday night as they take on the Suns at 8pm from Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.