Ja Morant scored 34 points but left with an injury as the Warriors lit the torch at the Memphis Grizzlies in a Game 3 blast.

SAN FRANCISCO – Basketball stats are always balanced, and that was proven to hurt the Memphis Grizzlies twice on Saturday night against the Golden State Warriors.

First, the Grizzlies made 11 first-half three-pointers after averaging 11.6 kicks in the regular season. The 3-point percentage started a downtrend in the second half.

Then there was the Golden State shooting. Stephen Curry, Jordan Paul, and Klay Thompson didn’t play a good match at the same time in the Western Conference semi-finals, but that did happen in Game Three. The Grizzlies couldn’t slow down the Warriors in a 142-112 loss at Chase Center.

Memphis has also had some uncharacteristic numbers that may appear later in the series. The Grizzlies led the NBA in scoring, rebounding and painting goals, but Golden State dominated both areas. Thompson also hit a three-pointer from one foot that summed up this kind of Grizzlies performance.

Ja Morant led the Grizzlies with 34 points on a 13-21 shootout. But he walked very cautiously into the locker room around the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter with a towel rolled over his head. Desmond added between 16 points.

Curry, Paul and Thompson combined for 78 points on 26 of 44.

The Warriors leads the series 2-1. Game 4 will be Monday (9PM PT, TNT) at Chase Center.

Here are some notes from the game 3:

COMMERCIAL MORANT: Grizzlies’ Ja Morante stars in Beats By Dre ad with rapper Lil Baby

PLAYOFF BASKETBALL: Draymond Green from Warriors to keep sentiment high vs. Grizzlies: ‘Someone wants to smoke, you have to want to smoke’

Stephen Adams: Memphis Grizzlies center Stephen Adams is expected to be active in Game 3

New starting decks Grizzlies (and Warriors)

Dillon Brooks’ one-game suspension got Zayer Williams starting for the Grizzlies as a junior striker. The Warriors got bigger when they started Jonathan Cominga in place of the injured Gary Payton II.

Stephen Adams is also back at the Grizzlies after missing the past three games. Not only did Adams start, but he did not play the alternating minutes. He entered the match when the result was decided in the fourth quarter.

The Grizzlies went with alternating senior men including Xavier Tillman Sr. and Jaren Jackson Jr. and Kyle Anderson and Brandon Clarke. The Grizzlies used the same starting lineup to start the second half, while the Warriors replaced Otto Porter Jr. for Kuminga.

Clarke was one of the Grizzlies’ most reliable players during the playoffs, but he was notable – 23 in the first half in 11:26. Tyus Jones was the closest player out of the Grizzlies at minus 11.

Missing Dillon Brooks

Brooks was not allowed in the arena. Even if he wasn’t playing, his active presence alone would have strengthened the Memphis defense. The Grizzlies knocked the Warriors off the three-point line early, but Golden State got every other look it wanted.

The Warriors shot 70.3% in the first half. The Grizzlies made 11 three-pointers in the first inning, culminating in a 48-foot bell hit by Morant. Three-pointers kept the Grizzlies inside for a while, but when the Warriors wore it they kept scoring. In addition to Poole, Thompson, and Curry, the Warriors also got a big taping night from Andrew Wiggins. He had 17 points on a 7-for-10 throw. When all four scorers continue in Golden State, it will be tough for Memphis to win.

Morant is getting a little help

It was Morant’s best at the end of the first half, but he had a lot to do. The All-Star goalkeeper continued his impressive streak of matches against the Warriors defense.

The problem was that Morant didn’t get much help. Jackson scored ten points in the first half, but went without goals in the third quarter. Bane sounded better, but still not 100% while dealing with lower back pain.

By the end of the third quarter, Morrant had collected 30 points while the other four had collected 32 points. Things weren’t much better off the bench. Golden State seems to be emphasizing that everything about Morant has been removed. So far this series, this strategy is working.

Connect with Damichael Cole at damichael.cole@commercialappeal.com and on Twitter Tweet embed

This article originally appeared on Memphis Trade Appeal: Memphis Grizzlies torpedoed by Golden State Warriors; Ja Morant hurt

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: