Memphis’ Ja Morant Led The Grizzlies To An Overtime Victory Over The Warriors, Securing The Team’s First Playoff Berth Since 2017

The Warriors were able to go on their own run as a result, and they only trailed by one at the end of the first half.

The Grizzlies are one of the NBA’s only two play-in teams, and after a close loss to Portland in the Bubble last season, Ja Morant and co. delivered in a must-win game against Golden State on Friday night, winning 117-112 in overtime.

Morant scored 35 points on the road in San Francisco, with six assists and four steals, as well as the Grizzlies’ final two buckets in overtime to clinch the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed and a first-round matchup with the Utah Jazz.

Memphis jumped out to an early lead before starting center Jonas Valanciunas — who had been outstanding in both rounds of the play-in — picked up his second foul and exited the court. The Warriors were able to go on their own run as a result, and they only trailed by one at the end of the first half.

Dillon Brooks and the defense he was able to play against Stephen Curry were also essential for Memphis. Despite not having the credibility of the Lakers’ perimeter defenders, Brooks made Curry work extremely hard off the court, and the Warriors lacked the juice without Andrew Wiggins or Juan Toscano-Anderson showing up in the same way they did against L.A.

The Grizzlies pulled off an upset victory thanks to a hot shooting night from Morant, a pair of big threes from Grayson Allen, and a strong performance from unsung rookie Xavier Tillman Sr.

Despite 21 turnovers, the Warriors were able to force overtime because Curry hit some crazy shots late, while Jordan Poole got to the line on a three-point try, made a huge three, and then somehow found Wiggins on a lob to tie the game at 111.

But once Memphis downsized and put Tillman and Allen in the game in overtime, Morant was able to go to work with a spaced floor and put in the two buckets that would clinch a huge win for the Grizzlies, sending the team to the postseason for the first time since the last Grit n’ Grind team made it back in 2017.

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