Grizzlies thrash Warriors to go 3-2 up in the series
The Memphis Grizzlies, without Ja Morant, who is carrying a knee injury, take the series to Game 6 after winning by a 39-point margin.
With their season on the line, the Memphis Grizzlies served the Golden State Warriors a 134-95 battering with nine players scoring at least nine points each. Star player Ja Morant sat the game out with a bruised knee. At one point, the Griz led by 55 points. They outscored Golden State 38-18 in the first quarter, 39-22 in the second and 42-17 in the third.
Taylor Jenkins hoped that his team would be just as competitive without Morant, going 20-5 in the 25 games he missed in the regular season – but they were far more than that, opening up a 119-67 lead as it hit three-quarter time at the FedExForum. Illustrating the one-sided nature of the contest, the Warriors committed 22 turnovers compared to 10 for the Grizzlies, and grabbed just four offensive rebounds while the home side snatched down 18.
Overall, this meant the Grizzlies attempted 19 more field goals (47-of-99 compared to 36-of-80), as well as 17 more free throws (22-of-30 to nine-of-13). Desmond Bane, Tyus Jones and Jaren Jackson Jr top-scored for Memphis with 21 points each, and all five Grizzlies starters finished with a plus/minus of at least plus 32.
Thompson shocked and embarrassed
Klay Thompson top-scored for the Warriors with 19 points on an efficient seven-of-12 shooting, but he had the worst plus/minus in the game at minus 45. He described the defeat as “embarrassing” when he faced the media after the game. “I would say, turnovers and their second-chance points. We just didn’t have the same juice defensively like we did last game so, we will make the necessary adjustments. I just know we will be much better Friday,” he explained. “It was awful. Embarrassing. From the opening tip when you have great flow... they were more aggressive than us - reflecting in the 33 throws to our 13. We all had the mindset that we were going to close it out tonight but sometimes basketball isn’t an exact science and we played like a shell of ourselves. We’ll watch film, make the necessary adjustments and you will see a totally different effort on Friday”.
Game 6 will head back to Memphis, and if the Grizzlies can force a Game 7, it will be played in San Francisco.