The Memphis Grizzlies still had to do without their star Ja Morant, sidelined for his antics, but as the Warriors were unable to defend properly, they had no trouble winning (131-110), Thursday in the NBA.
Memphis, who remained on three losses, got back in the right direction, in the wake of Tyus Jones (22 pts, 11 assists), usual replacement for Morant, promoted to holder in his absence.
Which should last at least three more games, the Grizzlies having decided to keep him away from the group, after his live video from last weekend in which he briefly brandished what looked like a gun in a nightclub. Without the police finally charging him after an investigation.
It was therefore a question for Memphis of regaining solidity on the collective level. Jaren Jackson Jr (21 pts, 9 rbds) and Desmond Bane (21 pts) contributed offensively, the team having shot at 53.8% success.
This once again brought to light the major defensive shortcomings, quite unworthy for an outgoing champion, of Golden State who never managed to fully recover from the 48-28 conceded in the first quarter. Steve Kerr, coach of this team since 2014, had never experienced such poor performance, and his cold anger on the bench was clearly visible.
– Warriors “too soft” –
The latter also regretted a missed tactical bet at the start of the match, by fielding four backs. “We had started the last six or seven games badly, so we wanted to put things right. But we were impatient, we took shots that were too fast and difficult. We were a little too soft too.”
Stephen Curry (29 pts) however sounded the revolt quite quickly in the following, since the Warriors returned to four units, but their rearguard remained too porous.
And this despite the combativeness of Draymond Green (16 pts, 7 assists, 3 interceptions) who had his hot moment, with Dillon Brooks (14 pts, 6 assists), one of his “favorite enemies”, with whom the provocation had risen up a notch by words in recent days. This time, it was physical but not too much, the Grizzlies winger sticking his head against the raised arm of his rival, without this slight collision escalating.
Golden State, after this third loss in a row, slips to sixth in the West. Memphis remains third, behind Sacramento which won (122-117) at the expense of New York.
– Nine blocks for Lopez –
Domantas Sabonis in triple-double (24 pts, 13 rbds, 10 assists) and DeAaron Fox (23 pts, 7 assists) were dominant for the Kings who had up to 22 units ahead in the first period, before leaving the Knicks of RJ Barrett (25 pts) return to a possession in the money-time.
In the East, the leader Milwaukee resisted a comeback from Brooklyn (6th) to finally win (118-113).
Deprived of Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks were up to 22 lengths ahead in the first period, finding in Bobby Portis (28 pts, 13 rebounds) an overnight leader in attack. But it was Brook Lopez who was decisive in maintaining this advantage, in the role of an impassable wall with nine blocks (season record), to come close to a rare triple-double (24 pts, 10 rebounds).
“It became a tight game and he made the moves that made the difference,” congratulated his coach Mike Budenholzer.
If the Nets, deprived of many holders, remained in the game, it is thanks to their replacements who scored 98 points (!), Patty Mills (23 pts) and Cam Thomas (21 pts) being the most prolific.
In Indiana, finally, it took a great Tyrese Haliburton in attack (29 pts, 19 assists) for the Pacers to overcome (134-125) after Houston’s extension, despite Jabari Smith Jr (30 pts, 12 rebounds).