Morant, Grizzlies beat Warriors in OT, advance to face Jazz

Ja Morant made successive jumpers in the last 48 seconds of overtime and scored 35 points, Memphis had an answer for each Stephen Curry flurry, along with the Grizzlies are led back into the playoffs for the first time in four decades after holding off the Golden State Warriors 117-112 on Friday night at a thrilling play-in game.

Morant, Grizzlies beat Warriors in OT, advance to face Jazz

Jordan Poole struck a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:50 left in OT for Golden State only to watch Xavier Tillman answer with a baseline 3 moments afterwards. Poole dropped the ball out of boundaries leading to Morant's basket with 4 seconds left, subsequently Poole made another improbable 3 with 2 seconds remaining.

Morant took 14 for 29 with five 3-pointers as Memphis greater than doubled its total from profound this period against Golden State to triumph on the Warriors' home floor just five days after dropping 113-101 from the regular-season finale.

Curry, who became scoring champion against the Grizzlies on Sunday, finished with 39 points and six 3-pointers while dazzling in front of the animated, roaring crowd of 7,505 at the biggest game yet at second-year Chase Center.

Memphis earned the No. 8 seed and advanced to face top-seeded Utah in the first round of this best-of-seven Western Conference playoffs. Game 1 is Sunday at Salt Lake City.

"A fight. We played them earlier in the season, obviously came up short," Morant said." The best team in the league at this time. We know exactly what to expect. We have to lock and play 48 minutes."

These groups wanted every tick of the clock in the extra period to decide this one after a ferocious closing minute-plus of law -- and the NBA had to appreciate it.

Andrew Wiggins tied it on a layup with 33 seconds left in the fourth quarter on a pretty pass from new star Poole and Memphis committed a shot-clock breach on the opposite end.

Kyle Anderson created a pair of free throws with 54.9 seconds left after being fouled by Curry, who had just converted two free throws to tie the game at 1:12.

The Grizzlies came with aggression, decision and absolutely no fear, going at Golden State every which way -- crashing the offensive glass to make extra opportunities, jumping in the passing lanes to force turnovers and gaining a lot more production from the seat than in the previous two games.

Subsequently Curry let loose, just as he did all season in one of the best years yet.

Curry's three-point play with 9:40 left Golden State into 80-78, then he made a glorious 3 the second time while falling backward. Morant hit from deep moments later.

The Grizzlies held off San Antonio 100-96 at home Wednesday night, then went back into the Bay Area. The Warriors lost a heartbreaker to LeBron James and the Lakers 103-100 at Staples Center on Wednesday.

Memphis ended a three-year playoff drought because making seven straight looks through 2016-17, and has lost in the first round in its previous two excursions and four of those seven appearances in all.

Down 24-14, Curry scored 10 straight points with a play, four-point drama and long 3-pointer to get Golden State within 26-24 overdue at the first.

The Warriors desired to be focused from the opening tip, hoping another hot start by the Grizzlies who delivered only that -- making their first seven shots and three 3s to leap forward 18-6.

Memphis went ahead early on Golden State last week and also against the Spurs.

"We've got to be prepared for their quick start," said Steve Kerr, who called timeout in the 8:31 mark of the opening quarter. Every Golden State starter but Kent Bazemore had an early turnover.

Golden State missed Curry Splash Brother Klay Thompson for the second consecutive season, now as he nurses a torn right Achilles tendon suffered before training camp which required surgery.

The Warriors fell short of returning into the playoffs for the first time since reaching five straight NBA Finals at 2019 before losing in six games to Toronto.


Grizzlies: Dillon Brooks, a fourth-quarter key the past two games for the Grizzlies, completed 7 to 22 from the floor and missed all four of his 3-point tries for 14 points. ... Valanciunas, who had 29 points and 16 rebounds Sunday, added nine points and 12 boards before taking a seat. ... Following a 6-for-25 afternoon on 3-pointers Sunday, Memphis wound up 15 of 35 from long selection.

Trainers: The Warriors had won six consecutive home games after wrap up the regular season with a 6-0 homestand. ... Golden State won 10 of their last 12 at home whatsoever.

The Warriors were 39-33 this year.

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