Desmond Bane scored 22 points, De’Anthony Melton and Dillon Brooks added 21 points each and the Memphis Grizzlies solidified their hold on second place in the Western Conference with a 123-95 triumph over the short-handed Golden State Warriors on Monday night.
Kyle Anderson added 13 points for Memphis, which holds a five-game lead over the third-place Warriors in the conference. The Grizzlies won their fifth consecutive and for the ninth time in 10 games.
Jordan Poole led Golden State with 25 points, and Moses Moody finished with 18. Jonathan Kuminga scored 14 points as Golden State dropped its third straight and lost for the sixth time in seven matches.
Golden State played without leading scorer Stephen Curry, who has missed six games with a left foot sprain. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Otto Porter Jr. also sat out under various injury management situations, and facing the second game of a back-to-back.
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That put the Warriors in an unfavorable position facing the Grizzlies.
Meanwhile, Memphis was without leading scorer Ja Morant, who missed his fifth consecutive game with right knee soreness, and Jaren Jackson Jr., who sat with right thigh soreness.
But Memphis has played well in Morant’s absence, winning the previous four after Morant was injured.
Neither team was shooting well to start, and Memphis was a step slow to 50-50 balls. The teams combined to make only 13 of 45 shots in the first quarter. Both were still mired at 25% each early in the second quarter before scoring started picking up — for Memphis.
Not Golden State.
The Grizzlies shot 59% in the second, including making 4 of 6 from beyond the arc. With the Warriors still stuck at 25% shooting, Memphis outscored the Warriors 48-21 in the second and held a 63-37 lead at the break.
By the end of the half, Warriors coach Steve Kerr vehemently argued a no-call on the final play and was assessed two quick technicals, getting ejected for the second half.
Poole helped the Warriors cut into the Memphis’ lead slightly with 13 points in the third, but Golden State never got within less than 18 points. Memphis carried a 95-67 lead into the final quarter.
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