Game Report: Warriors fade against Ja Morant-led Grizzlies

After an initial 8-2 Warriors‘ burst to start the game, the Grizzlies went on a 14-0 run and controlled the majority of the first half. A constant issue for the Warriors in the two teams’ recent meetings, Ja Morant was scoring at will and had 17 points by halfway through the second.

He led the Grizzlies to a 49-31 lead, before Steve Kerr finally turned to his defensive trump card. The outlook began to change when Gary Payton II was given the primary role on the Grizzlies’ young star, limiting his output as the Warriors climbed back into the contest.

The Golden State Warriors have lost their third game in the past week, falling to the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on Tuesday night.

In his second game back from two serious injuries, Klay Thompson was proving his worth as the Dubs looked far superior with him on the floor. A corner three, his first of the game, cut the Grizzlies lead to a manageable 8 points at halftime.

The momentum continued early in the third as the Warriors quickly eradicated the Memphis advantage, then set about creating their own advantage. From late in the second, Golden State went on an extended 34-12 run to turn a major deficit into an eight-point lead.

But the Grizzlies fought back with an 11-2 run, the sides trading baskets towards the end of the third as the Dubs reasserted a three-point lead with 12 minutes to play.

However, after a 39-point third quarter, the Golden State offense reverted to the struggles that have plagued them across the last few weeks. They scored just 18 points for the quarter, and although a Payton dunk had them within three with just over a minute to play, it was never going to be enough.

The Grizzlies closed out an impressive 116-108 victory, relegating the Warriors to second in the Western Conference after Phoenix had pushed past a determined Raptor outfit in Toronto.

It was a mixed game for MVP candidate Stephen Curry, whose recent shooting struggles (8-21, 2-9) continued despite a 27-point triple-double. On a positive note for him and the Warriors, it was another successful outing for Thompson who continued to show a fearlessness in attacking off the dribble and getting to the rim.

Thompson finished with 14 points, three rebounds, and three assists in 20 minutes of action. The Warriors had just two of their 12 used players finish with a positive plus-minus, with the returning sharpshooter an incredible +17 in limited minutes.

Credit must go to the Grizzlies, whose impressive rise continued as they recorded their tenth straight win.

But by the same token, the Warriors wouldn’t be too concerned with the result moving forward. They had their chances to win against quality opposition on the road and did so without Draymond Green and with Thompson on a heavy minutes restriction.

The Warriors are now scheduled for a tough back-to-back, starting with the reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.