Grizzlies take down Warriors again in OT in play-in rematch | Inquirer Sports
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Grizzlies take down Warriors again in OT in play-in rematch

02:22 PM October 29, 2021
Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies celebrates after they beat the Golden State Warriors in overtime at Chase Center on October 28, 2021 in San Francisco, California.

Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies celebrates after they beat the Golden State Warriors in overtime at Chase Center on October 28, 2021 in San Francisco, California.  Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP 

The Memphis Grizzlies used two critical blocks to outfinish the Golden State Warriors for a 104-101 victory Thursday at San Francisco in a rematch of last season’s NBA play-in tournament finale.

De’Anthony Melton gave Memphis the lead for good with 2:06 remaining in overtime and  Ja Morant capped a 30-point night with a key late hoop for the Grizzlies.

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The game had much in common with the season-ender, which went into overtime tied at 99 before the Grizzlies survived and moved on via an 18-13 advantage in the extra period.

The rematch was tied at 98 through 48 minutes before a defensive struggle ensued, one in which the Grizzlies shot 2-for-7, which was better than Golden State’s 1-for-7.

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Seeking a fifth consecutive win, the Warriors’ Damion Lee had the only field goal of the first 2:54 of the extra session, a 3-pointer at the 3:59 mark that gave Golden State a 101-100 lead. But the Warriors never scored again, thanks in part to late blocks by Melton on Draymond Green and Kyle Anderson on Andre Iguodala.

Meanwhile, Melton put the Grizzlies on top nearly two minutes later and Morant made it a three-point game on a layup with 57.9 seconds left.

Golden State had two chances to tie, but Stephen Curry and Lee misfired on 3-pointers.

Curry, the game’s leading scorer with 36 points, shot 0-for-3, all on 3-pointers, in the overtime.

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Neither team scored in the final 2:04 of regulation after Lee produced the fourth tie of the final 7:19 with a 3-pointer. The Grizzlies missed their final six shots over that stretch before Curry’s desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.

Fired up to avenge last year’s season-ending defeat, the Warriors exploded out of the gate, putting up 37 first-quarter points, taking a 19-point lead along the way.

But the Grizzlies, playing the second night of a back-to-back, climbed all the way back, getting within 55-45 by halftime, 79-73 by the end of the third quarter and finally even at 86 on Melton’s floater with 7:19 to play.

Morant complemented his 30 points with seven rebounds, a team-high five assists and a game-high four steals for the Grizzlies, who salvaged a 2-2 Western swing on a trip they began with a win against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Desmond Bane added 19 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. 15 with a team-high eight rebounds, and Stephen Adams 12 for Memphis, which shot 14-for-14 from the free throw line. Morant went 6-for-6.

Curry’s 36 points came on 11-for-29 shooting, including 7-for-20 on 3-pointers. He also had a game-high eight assists and seven rebounds.

Andrew Wiggins finished with 16 points and Lee 14 for the Warriors, while Green snatched a game-high 12 rebounds and blocked a game-high five shots to go with four points and seven assists.

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