Sports Writing (USA), Mar 18 (EFE).- The Memphis Grizzlies, without Ja Morant, crushed the Golden State Warriors (133-119) on Saturday in a game that they dominated from the beginning and in which the Visiting star Stephen Curry underperformed.
In the eighth and final game of Ja Morant’s suspension for posting a video in which he appeared carrying a gun, his natural substitute, Tyus Jones, once again took advantage of his partner’s absence, achieving a double double after he achieved in his previous game the first triple double of his career (20-10-10).
For the Grizzlies, Jaren Jackson Jr added 31 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 blocks; Desmond Bane contributed 26 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal; and Dillon Brooks added 18 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
Xavier Tillman had a double double of 14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals while Jones added 13 points, 2 rebounds and 14 assists.
The Spanish Santi Aldama played 18.03 minutes to get 4 points, 3 rebounds, an assist and put a block.
For the visitors, the Congolese Jonathan Kuminga signed a sensational game with 24 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and a hat.
Jordan Poole added 21 points, a rebound, 3 assists and a block; Curry had 16 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists; Klay Thompson added 14 points, Draymon Green 11 and Kevon Looney 10.
LAX CURRY FROM THE START
A three-pointer from Brooks signed the maximum advantage for the locals in the first minutes of the game (16-8), but two consecutive shots from Kuminga from outside the ring managed to stop the initial push of the Grizzlies before reaching the middle of the first set.
The Congolese forward from Golden State, coming off the bench, reached his personal 11 points in five minutes of play to tighten the scoring with his third three-pointer from three attempts (22-21), but Taylor Jenkins’s pupils, exhibiting confidence and solidity at home, they managed to conclude the initial segment with an advantage of 10 (33-23).
Curry made his first triple, of three attempts, after two minutes of the second quarter, and a layup and a three-pointer from Green reduced the wound opened by the locals to 4 points.
In a game that was very fast in attacks and intense in defense, the Grizzlies regained the lead of 10 midway through the second quarter driven by Bane and Brooks.
Playing like a newly-oiled gear, in the Memphis team, Jackson Jr, Kennard and Tillman took turns with Bane and Brooks to pull the locals’ car and, without missing Morant, managed to reach the break 12 up (71 -59).
Curry, the star of Golden State, came to the middle of the game with lower numbers than usual: a single triple of 4 attempts with 8 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
KUMINGA CANNOT ALONE
Three-pointers from DiVicenzo, Curry and Kuminga, who also hung from the ring, managed to bring the score closer in the first minutes of the third quarter (80-76), but two other shots from outside the ring in a few seconds from Brooks and Bane followed by frantic baskets de Jackson Jr. and Jones raised the home side’s lead to 14 in the blink of an eye.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr sat Curry on several occasions, made adjustments to his squad and the visitors again cut the Grizzlies’ lead to 6 points, driven by an extraordinary third quarter from Kuminga, again, and Poole , who coming off the bench added 17 points in the segment.
A free kick from Kuminga, reaching his 24 points, left the score at 104-100 at the end of the quarter.
Thompson and Curry managed to reduce the Grizzlies’ lead to 2 on 2 occasions in the first minutes of an exciting final segment, leaving the attendees at the FedExForum in Memphis perplexed.
But when the midpoint of the last quarter was over, thanks to a three-pointer and two baskets from Bane’s paint, the score again went clearly to the locals (123-109), who regained their confidence while the visitors once again seemed headless.
Jackson Jr, with a triple, a layup and a free throw, reached his 31 points to get the maximum advantage of the game, 20 points, with 4.17 minutes remaining.
Aldama scored the last basket for the Grizzlies hanging from the rim with an “alley-oop” underlining the dominance of the locals in a game that ended 133-119.