Memphis Grizzlies may have momentum and motivation on its facet when it makes its Christmas Day debut in opposition to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday evening in San Francisco.
Coming off a dominant 125-100 street overcome the Phoenix Suns on Friday, the Grizzlies get to show their consideration to the group that eradicated them in a tense six-game playoff series final Could.
Memphis misplaced star Ja Morant to a knee harm late in a Recreation 3 loss at Golden State. He sat out the rest of the series, and the Grizzlies fell 4 video games to 2.
The Warriors additionally suffered a key harm in Recreation 2 of the series when Gary Payton II fractured his elbow as the results of a tough foul by Dillon Brooks, who drew a one-game suspension. Payton additionally missed the remainder of the series.
Seeded third within the Western postseason, Golden State earned development over the second-seeded Grizzlies by successful Recreation 1 on the street after which sweeping its three dwelling video games. It wanted a late flurry of 5 3-pointers from Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins to rally from a fourth-quarter deficit in clinching Recreation 6.
The Grizzlies didn’t take elimination effectively. Not solely did a number of gamers and coach Taylor Jenkins complain loudly about their perception that the Warriors’ Jordan Poole had induced Morant’s harm, however Morant himself insisted Memphis would have superior if not for the mishap.
Morant just lately added gas to the hearth when requested concerning the street to a doable championship this season. He mentioned it went by way of Boston, and when given a chance to throw Golden State, the defending champion, into the dialog, responded, “Nah, I’m wonderful within the West.”
The Grizzlies appeared greater than wonderful in drubbing the defending Western regular-season champs, the Suns, of their lead-in to the Golden State rematch.
Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke had 24 factors and 10 rebounds apiece, Desmond Bane returned from a toe harm to chip in with 17 factors and Morant put up a double-double (12 factors, 11 assists) earlier than complaining that the Grizzlies would get no respect even after the 25-point romp.
“It’s all the time going to be one thing,” Morant insisted. “Although we received this recreation, clearly they wasn’t at full energy, in order that’s going to be the factor now. If we needed to lose, they couldn’t wait to say, ‘Yea, since Ja mentioned this they misplaced.’ It’s going to be that method each time.”
With a tenth straight Christmas Day recreation on the schedule, the Warriors return dwelling after a 1-5 journey that ended with 38- and 30-point drubbings at New York and Brooklyn, respectively.
Golden State performed the ultimate 4 video games of the journey with out Curry, who stays out with a barely dislocated left shoulder and can miss at the very least two extra weeks. Additionally they have been lacking Wiggins (strained adductor) for the complete journey and key reserve Donte DiVincenzo (sickness) for the final two losses, however each practiced in the course of the Warriors’ three days off and are anticipated to face the Grizzlies.
The Warriors have crushed their final two opponents in NBA Finals — Boston at dwelling and Toronto on the street — for the one wins of their final 9 video games, and Draymond Inexperienced believes it’s time for him and his mates to start out taking a disappointing 15-18 begin extra significantly.
“You begin going by way of this stuff and then you definitely begin believing them,” Inexperienced mentioned. “When you begin believing them, it turns into who you might be. The one approach to break them is by being mentally powerful.”
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Publish date: 2022-12-25 23:08:00
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