With a nailbiting lose at Game 1, the Memphis Grizzlies come back to their home turf to meet up with the Golden State Warriors again to decide the victor of Game 2. The Warriors will be looking to extend their lead before they go to their territory and put the series to bed while they are there.
The Memphis Grizzlies went with a starting lineup of Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Xavier Tillman. The Golden State Warriors started with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Gary Payton II, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green.
With the opening tip, the Grizzlies were fired up as they went on an 8-0 run. The Warriors caught up to them eventually but the Grizzlies had the momentum of the game. The duo of Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr was harrassing the Warriors defense with their in and out plays. Stephen Curry kept the Warriors afloat but he wasn’t enough to overcome the Grizzlies firepower.
In the second quarter, the Warriors let their defense settle in and they were making stops on Jackson but Morant was still running on all his cylinders. The Warriors decided to space the floor on the offense and cut the deficit as much as possible. They moved the ball around confusing the Grizzlies defense. However, the Grizzlies secured the lead in the end of the 1st half with 56-51.
The 3rd quarter was a mimic of the 2nd quarter. The Grizzlies struggled immensely to get away from the Warriors’ resilient defense but they kept missing their shots. On the other hand, the Warrior’s ball movement was causing problems for the Grizzlies and they had taken the lead by the end of the 3rd quarter.
Feeling that the game was getting out of their hands, Grizzlies coach, Taylor Jenkins, pushed their defense to focus more on the perimeter which worked well considering the Warriors were having some difficulties knocking down their shots. Their reliance on the 3-point line was forcing them to make mistakes and hence waste possessions.
On the offensive end, Ja Morant completely took over with no strings attached. He attacked the rim, took efficient shots and ran laps around the Warriors defense. The Grizzlies retook their lead and they stuck with it. Morant on offense and the rest of the players on defense practically wasted the Warriors and they kept their lead till the final buzzer sounded.
Ja Morant had a historic night as he put up 47 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals. Zaire Williams was the next highest scorer for the Grizzlies who put up 14 points and 5 rebounds. Jaren Jackson Jr. disappeared after having a monster 1st quarter as he ended the game with 12 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 blocks.
For the Warriors, Stephen Curry led them in offense putting up 27 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists and a steal. Jordan Poole came off the bench and lit up with 20 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Andrew Wiggins did a little bit of everything as he put up 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block.
Takeaways from Game 2
The Grizzlies took home Game 2 with a scoreline of 101-106. Their victory was all due to a 23 year old willing his team to the finish line. Going to their territory for Game 3, the Warriors will be looking to extend their lead now that the series is tied at 1-1.The Grizzlies need to make small changes if they want to put a difference between them and their opponents.