Steph Curry sits for too long as the Warriors blow it against the Grizzlies
Well, the Warriors fucked around again, and this time they found out. Ja Morant and the Grizzlies don’t know how to give up, and they showed that again today in a grinding 104-101 overtime victory that handed the Dubs their first loss of the season.
Morant didn’t let a bad start deter him. He was held to 7 points in the first half and was visibly frustrated with himself. However, Morant, the very definition of hustle, roared back in the second half and overtime to finish with 30 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 5 turnovers. He did a little bit of everything, including making a couple of deep threes, and he helped the Memphis Grizzlies outduel Steph Curry and the Warriors. Morant is showing that last season’s playoff appearance wasn’t a fluke, and he’s getting better every game. When everything was on the line, it was Morant who made it a three-point game at the end of OT.
This isn’t the first time that Ja Morant has iced a game against the Warriors.
Curry had a good time in the first half, finishing with 22 points while shooting 7 of 14 from the field and 4 of 9 from three. He even hit a ridiculous one-footed runner from beyond the arc near the end of the first half, then pushed his total to 36 by the end of the third quarter. His big night didn’t count for much though, because he got barely any help from anyone else on the team. Andrew Wiggins was the only other Warrior to score in double digits with 16 points.
This was the first time this season that the Warriors entered the second half with a halftime lead at 55-45. However, it’s not the first time they opened with a big first quarter before letting their opponents back in the game. By the end of the third quarter, their 17-point opening lead had been whittled down to a 79-73 advantage. As Curry sat in the fourth, Memphis used another big run to tie the game at 86 with a little over seven minutes left in the game. Memphis grabbed their very first lead of the game with 6:19 left at 89-86, and that’s when Curry finally went to the scorer’s table to wait for a sub. He finally re-entered the game with less than five minutes left in the game and the game tied at 91.
A curious stat was that Curry hadn’t scored in the fourth quarter in their previous two games. Part of that could be how long he’s been sitting to start the fourth, but it makes absolutely no sense to me that Kerr keeps sitting him for that long when other teams make runs. Steph made it three games in a row with no fourth quarter points as he missed his three pointer to win the game in regulation. With less than a minute left in OT, he still only had 36, and the Grizzlies had a 104-101 lead. He missed another three after a timeout, and the score was the same with 11 seconds left in the game as the Warriors were forced to use their last timeout and were unable to find the game-tying 3.
There is a little bit of a Grizzlies vs. Warriors rivalry brewing, especially since Andre Iguodala is back in Golden State after refusing to play for the Grizzlies before being traded to the Miami Heat. Young players like Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks haven’t forgotten that incident.
This game will add more fuel to that fire, especially since Memphis were the ones to send Golden State packing in the play-ins last season. Everyone in Memphis is currently thinking the same thing about Iguodala and the Warriors:
The Warriors’ propensity for turnovers finally bit them in the ass. Their 23 turnovers led to 23 points for the Grizzlies. Their most egregious was an 8-second violation with 1:07 left in the game as Draymond Green slowly walked down the ball with no one within 20 feet of him. You can ride Steph’s hot shooting all you want for the first three quarters of a game, but the constant this season has been their carelessness with the ball.
Memphis won this game with grit and grind, something that their fans will appreciate. They took the hits that the Warriors threw at them, never gave up, and earned the victory by taking advantage of their opponent’s recklessness. This was not the right game for the Warriors to make unnecessary mistakes, and it cost them.
Julius Randle barely misses a triple-double as Knicks hand Bulls first defeat
The Knicks handed the Bulls their first loss of the season in a tense 104-103 win.
Kemba Walker had something of a breakout game for the Knicks, as he crossed the 20-point mark for the first time and finished with 21 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals while shooting 7 of 12 from the field and 5 of 6 from three. RJ Barrett joined him and pitched in 20 points on 8 of 15 shooting. This was the first time that either of them hit that milestone this season, and they did it together.
Julius Randle was an all-around machine, as he narrowly missed a triple-double with 13 points, 16 rebounds, 9 assists and a steal with 4 turnovers. He struggled from the field, only making 3 of 11 shots, but his impact on the game was undeniable. He did make a few miscues in the fourth quarter, but the Knicks will take it.
It wasn’t an easy victory by any means, as the Bulls showed a lot of fight in them as they almost came back from a 104-91 deficit with 2:59 left in the game. They went on a huge 12-0 run and had the last shot, but DeMar DeRozan hit nothing but air on a contested mid-range jumper.
DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic all scored 20 or more and combined for 67 points. Even in defeat, they’ll take heart in knowing that they can fight back in tough games.
The Washington Wizards rode their starters to go 4-1
Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and Bradley Beal all scored at least 21 points and each grabbed at least 8 rebounds for the Washington Wizards in a huge 122-111 win over the Atlanta Hawks that pushes their record to 4-1, pushing them to the top four in the east.
Getting that kind of production from the three players that they traded Russell Westbrook for is a heartening sign, and Harrell in particular is rediscovering the form that made him so deadly on the Clippers before Kawhi Leonard and Paul George came to town. Harrell has scored at least 22 points three times, and has never scored in single digits. He’s never had less than 7 rebounds either, and over his last two games is averaging 25.0 PPG and 12.0 RPG.
The Wizards spoiled a great night for John Collins, who had 28 points and 12 rebounds while making 14 of 16 shots. Trae Young also had a double-double with 15 points and 13 assists but shot 6 of 17 from the field and 1 of 5 from deep.
Luka Doncic and the Mavs extend the Spurs’ pain
The Spurs lost another winnable game today after starting the game with a 25-15 first quarter. They couldn’t hold onto the lead, as the Mavericks made it a tie game entering the fourth and then closed out the game better. It’s weird watching a Greg Popovich-led team have problems with late game execution, but he clearly doesn’t have the same personnel as his heyday.
With Kristaps Porzingis missing, Luka Doncac led the way for the Mavericks as usual, with 25 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists, but committed 7 turnovers.
Joel Embiid is still a beast
For someone who always seems to be playing hurt, Joel Embiid sure finds a way to produce consistently. The Cameroonian center dropped 30 points and 18 rebounds on the Detroit Pistons in a 110-102 victory, and showed his good touch from the free throw line with 13 of 15 foul shots made. Danny Green had another painful game, though, finishing with 0 points on 0 of 5 shooting. He took all of his shots from the three-point line.
The Jazz kept their record perfect in an easy win over the Rockets
The Utah Jazz stayed at a perfect 4-0 with a 122-91 victory against the Houston Rockets. They ran away with the game early and finished the first half with a 61-40 lead, and never relinquished it. That allowed them to play give minutes to every single player on the roster, a rare feat. Because of their huge lead, the Jazz also didn’t need to play any of their starters for more than 28 minutes, and no one scored 20 or more points.
Bogdan Bogdanovic led them in scoring with 19 points, Donovan Mitchell had 15 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists, and Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 14 rebounds.