Tagged in: Draymond Green

Ja Morant, with blurred vision, matches playoff career-high 47 points as Memphis Grizzlies even series with Golden State Warriors

All Ja Morant needed was one good eye to match his playoff career-high of 47 points and even the Memphis Grizzlies’ series with the Golden State Warriors.

Playing with blurred vision in his left eye after being poked in the third quarter, Morant scored the Grizzlies’ final 15 points to lift them to a 106-101 win in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series at FedEx Forum.

Morant concluded with a spectacular 47 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds to help Memphis avoid falling behind 0-2 in this best-of-seven series.

He joined LeBron James and Kobe Bryant as the only players with multiple 45-point games in the playoffs before turning 23 years old, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.

And he did so after leaving the game at the end of the third quarter complaining, “I can’t see.”

“I still can’t [see],” Morant said when asked about his vision. “I can see on the middle. I can’t see on the outside. I got punched trying to get the rebound.” Morant added: “I got another good eye over here — 20-20 vision right here. Thank God for my right eye.”

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The Grizzlies trailed 97-93 with 3:50 remaining when Morant was in the midst of his fourth-quarter takeover. With starter Dillon Brooks ejected in the opening minutes due to a flagrant 2 foul on Gary Payton II, and Jaren Jackson Jr. having fouled out with 3:59 left, Morant scored on a second consecutive driving layup.

He then buried a 26-foot 3 and a 7-foot floater. Morant also drew a foul on Draymond Green as the two were chasing after a rebound that Green grabbed, but officials called a foul when he bumped into Morant with 49.8 seconds left. Morant made two free throws and then sank another driving floater to push the Grizzlies up 104-101 with 30.7 seconds left.

“I feel like I’ve just watched him transform into a true closer,” power forward Xavier Tillman said.

Morant sealed the game from the free throw line to even it up.

“Definitely big time,” Morant said of where this game ranks for him. “I felt like this was a must-win game for us. For me, I was frustrated with myself missing that layup in Game 1.”

Morant, whose career high is 52 points, was frustrated after missing a driving scoop layup over Klay Thompson and a trailing Payton at the end of Game 1’s 117-116 loss to Golden State.

Morant stated Warriors star Stephen Curry told him and Jackson after that loss that “it is going to be a battle. We are going to have some fun.”

As streamers fell from the ceiling after the buzzer on Tuesday night, Morant walked by Curry. He had returned the favor and told Curry, “We are going to have some fun.”

“I was able to return that message tonight,” Morant said. ” … I am having a lot of fun.”

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Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green returns off bench, with minutes restriction

Draymond Green returned for the Golden State Warriors on Monday versus the Washington Wizards in Chase Center after missing the past two months with a lower back injury.

Green came off the bench in Monday’s game, and coach Steve Kerr stated he probably won’t start his first several games back. Green said he expects to play with a 20- to 23-minute restriction for the next 10 to 14 days as he builds up his conditioning.

“I’m usually against any restrictions. I hate them,” Green said earlier Monday. “Any time I’ve had one I get into a fight with Coach or with [team president] Rick [Welts]. I am actually very inviting of it this time around. I know I need it. I know I need them to protect me from myself.”

Kerr said he wants to make Green available for end-of-half and end-of-game scenarios, which would be hard to do under his minutes restriction if he started the game.

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“We’ve found this with Klay [Thompson] and Otto [Porter Jr.] — it’s really hard to start a guy on a minutes restriction and get him into some meaningful parts of the game,” Kerr said. “This is very temporary.”

Green said he plans on using the next two to three weeks to get his legs under him and his reaction-time quickness back, with the hope that by the time there is a week or more left in the regular season, he will be close to where he was before his injury as the team gears for the playoffs.

“In returning from an injury, it’s never what you left,” Green said. “It’s not like I’m going to come back doing all the same things I was doing when I went out. Just kind of coming in and figuring out where I can help. I’ve watched for two months — I already have in my mind where I can help … But you still have to figure the flow of the game out. I’ll just come in and let the game come to me.”

It had been 1,005 days since Green, Thompson and Stephen Curry had played in a game together, not including the seven seconds Green was on the court for Klay Day on Jan. 9.

The Warriors have been tracking the numbers until the trio would reunite because, as Green put it, “we built this thing from ground zero.”

During Green’s absence the Warriors have struggled, stringing together a five-game losing streak for the first time this season.

The hope, and expectation, is that simply having Green on the court will address a lot of the issues the Warriors have had. But they know he won’t fix everything, especially as he gets back into game shape.

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Curry, Warriors beat Kings 113-98 in short-handed showdown

Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors gave his son an early 5th birthday gift by permitting the boy to help on the sidelines running towels, shooting shirts and masks to Warriors players along their bench.

And dad delivered his first triple-double of the season to boot.

Green notched his franchise-leading 31st career triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists with Draymond Jr. an equally big star as Golden State held off the Sacramento Kings 113-98 on Monday night in a matchup of short-handed rivals due to COVID protocols.

“You like that?” Green shared of his postgame chat with young Draymond Jr., or “DJ.”

“It was fun, Daddy,” the boy answered before his father made clear, “We can’t do it all the time, we can do it sometimes.”

Green was thrilled with the opportunity for his son, who he praised for being “well-behaved” and doing just enough while staying out of the way.

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The Vikings’ final three matches are at home versus the Los Angeles Rams and at NFC North champion Green Bay before they host Chicago in the finale. The result in this one was hardly a surprise given the state of the Bears (4-10).

Chicago lost for the eighth time in nine games, and with 14 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, that seemed inevitable. Receiver Allen Robinson was on it, as was the starting secondary.

The health issues also hit the coaching staff, with all three coordinators testing positive for the coronavirus during the week.

Defensive coordinator Sean Desai was cleared to return hours before kickoff. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was not cleared, so Nagy called plays. And special teams coordinator Chris Tabor was out.

Cousins, who struggled last week, didn’t exactly dominate in this one. He was 12 of 24 for 87 yards with an interception and got sacked four times. The two-time Pro Bowler also connected with Justin Jefferson for a 12-yard touchdown in the first quarter and threw a 7-yarder to Ihmir Smith-Marsette in the third.

Dalvin Cook ran for 89 yards, after going for 205 versus Pittsburgh in a sooner-than-expected return from a dislocated shoulder.

D.J. Wonnum had a career-high three sacks and the Vikings recovered three fumbles on the way to their second straight win after back-to-back losses.

“It’s not just playing better, it’s getting better,” Zimmer said. “It’s getting better in the run defense, getting better in the pass coverage, it’s getting better in protection. It’s getting better in running the ball. It’s all those things. We’re trying to get better so we can get to that spot where we’ve got to get to.”

For the Bears and their fans, it was another frustrating outing.

Fields threw for 285 yards and ran for 35 in his second game back after missing two with broken ribs. The rookie completed 26 of 39 passes playing behind a line missing both starting tackles, with right tackle Larry Borom on the COVID list and left tackle Jason Peters out with an ankle injury.

Robert Quinn and Akiem Hicks each had two sacks. Quinn has 16 this year, leaving him just shy of Hall of Famer Richard Dent’s franchise record of 17 1/2 in 1984. But Chicago committed nine penalties for 91 yards in a sloppy performance that had fans again booing at times and making their feelings about coach Matt Nagy known, chanting “Fire Nagy!”

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Draymond Green, James Wiseman absent from Golden State Warriors practice

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green and No. 2 overall draft pick James Wiseman missed Day 1 of the team’s training camp Monday.

Coach Steve Kerr didn’t detail why the two were absent but did say they were the only two players not to take the court. Kerr noted that he couldn’t elaborate on what Green and Wiseman are able to do at the moment.

“I will not comment on that any further,” Kerr said. “I’m not allowed to comment on that. You can make your own deductions. I know it’s really tricky.”

Last week, general manager Bob Myers acknowledged without providing names that two players had tested positive for COVID-19 and said they would be out at least 10 days before being tested again. Kerr noted the awkwardness for both coaches and media in trying to give an update on the health of his team without revealing who tested positive.

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“I’m just trying to figure out which one of you has put all the pieces together and figured out what’s happening here,” Kerr said. “I think you guys all got it.”

It’s the same awkward dance that is going on throughout the NBA this season concerning to injury updates and players’ privacy. Kerr knows that the uncertain nature of the virus makes it something that will hover over the league all season.

“This is the nature of this season, so everybody’s going to be dealing with it,” he said. “Every team in the league. I think the way we’re looking at it is we’re lucky to be playing basketball. We’re grateful for the opportunity to compete and play, and any difficulties to the season pale in comparison to what’s happening out in the world, so there won’t be much talk from our end about COVID and the protocols and what it means to our team … What matters is the protocols and being healthy and safe and keeping everybody that way.”

Kerr isn’t worried about Green’s readiness to play as soon as he is medically cleared to hit the floor.

“When he’s ready to go, he’ll be out there,” Kerr said. “I’m not worried about Draymond. He’s got a better feel for what we do than anybody, so he’ll be fine once he gets rolling with practice.”

As for Wiseman, getting him prepared for the condensed season will be trickier. Kerr knows that it will be hard to get the second overall pick in last month’s draft ready after his training camp absence, but he isn’t going to complain about the hand the Warriors have been dealt. “It’s unfortunate, but that’s just the way it goes,” Kerr said.

“Our coaching staff has been showing him tape the last few days, and he’s still getting some homework in between now and the time he’ll be able to play again. So it’s not ideal, but nothing’s ideal for anybody in 2020.”

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Warriors´Draymond Green returns from 3 game absence

Another healthy body sure helped the Golden State Warriors, especially when that guy coming back was Draymond Green — an emotional, vocal leader of this young group who brings it on both ends.

Eric Paschall scored 25 points and the Warriors emphatically closed out a tight game after their failure two days earlier, holding off the Chicago Bulls 104-90 on Wednesday night for just their second victory at new Chase Center.

“Having Draymond back was a big deal. He settled us down,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Having nine instead of eight, it matters. You just have more to work with and more options.”

The latest injury news for the Warriors involved their coach.

Kerr cut his right hand breaking a clipboard. It happens at least once a season.

“It’s a mere flesh wound. I broke a clipboard. It’s one of two. I’m allotted two a year. This was No. 1,” Kerr said. “It always cuts in the same place. This was a little deeper one, I was a little more upset. I’m day to day. No stitches yet but we’ll see tomorrow.”

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Alec Burks added 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in just the second victory in 12 games for Golden State, which squandered a late lead Monday night in losing 100-97 to Oklahoma City while allowing the Thunder to score the game’s final 13 points. The Warriors snapped a three-game losing streak.

Green returned from a three-game absence because of a sore right heel and contributed seven points, eight assists and five rebounds in nearly 24 minutes.

Zach LaVine had 36 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Bulls, who now will try to avenge a 117-94 home defeat to the Trail Blazers on Monday night when they travel to Portland to play Friday.

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