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Ja Morant injury overshadows Warriors win

Ja Morant claims Jordan Poole “broke the code” by grabbing his knee in the Warriors 142-112 win in Game 3 at the Chase Center.

Jordan Poole agarró de la rodilla a un Ja Morant que se tuvo que ir a los vestuarios en una acción cargada de polémica. Los Warriors se exhiben.
Thearon W. HendersonAFP

Disaster struck the Grizzlies in Saturday’s Game 3 matchup with the Warriors. After Gary Payton fractured his elbow in the previous game, Memphis got a taste of the same medicine at the Chase Center on Saturday in a controversial move. Dillon Bookes’ nasty foul on Payton was avenged by an equally ugly play by Jordan Poole, who bizarrely grabbed Morant’s right knee in the fourth quarter without much explanation. Morant limped off court with five minutes to go and is undergoing tests, although the situation doesn’t bode well. Adding more fuel to the fire, coach Taylor Jenkins stated in his post-match press conference that Poole intentionally set out to injure his star player, who scored 34 points in the third game, 47 in the second and returned to post 34 in the third. Morant later tweeted that Poole ” broke the code” adding a video of the Warriors guard grabbing his knee before later deleting the post.

It’s not the first time such an incident has happened. In Game 2 of the 2000 finals between the Lakers and the Pacers, Jalen Rose stuck his foot under Kobe Bryant just as the shooting guard attempted a jump shot. The Los Angeles star missed the third game as a result and played the fourth undercover in an historic performance (28 points, 8 of them in overtime), but the controversy did not end there and the Lakers accused Rose of sabotage. Everything became clear, for better or for worse, years later - Jalen Rose admitted that he intentionally stuck his foot under Kobe with the intention of injuring him. It was a case of déjà-vu in San Francisco last night.

Warriors onslaught

The game was resolved with an astonishing hammering - the Warriors won by a 30-point margin. The visitors started brightly, leading by 12-4, 15-6 and 21-8 during the first quarter but the Warriors reacted and came within 2 points (26-28) by the end of the initial 12 minutes. After that, the tsunami came: 38, 37 and 41 points in the following three quarters, an incredible 17 of 32 triples, six players with 10+ points - 30 from Stephen Curry, 27 from Jordan Poole, 38 rebounds (9 more than the Grizzlies) and 34 assists (13 more) and a percentage of 63.1% in field goals.

We’ll see what the investigations reveal and what sanctions are imposed, or not. What is clear is that this is turning into an incredibly hard-fought series - in the first game Draymond Green was expelled with a flagrant Type 2, the same one issued to Dillon Brooks for the foul on Payton at the start of the second game. The Warriors complained about that play, Steve Kerr said it had been “dirty” and Draymond displayed his usual verbosity and threatened more force in statements for which he was also fined by the NBA. Poole, for his part, claims he was going for the ball. And, in the midst of all this, a feast by the Warriors, a full-on fiesta at the Chase Center and 2-1 in a fine tribute to the season in best League in the world. Between battle and controversy, the Warriors have their sights set on the throne. They are already half on it.


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