Grizzlies comeback hands Warriors first loss 104-101 in OT

BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies rebounded from an early 19 point deficit to hand the Warriors their first loss of the season, 104-101 Thursday evening at Chase Center.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Ja Morant of the Grizzlies collides with Draymond Green while driving to the basket during Memphis 104-101 overtime win against the Warriors Thursday evening at Chase Center.

Golden State raced out to a 39-20 lead early in the second quarter, but sloppy play leading to 22 turnovers enabled the Grizzlies to climb back into the game as they proceeded to outscore the Warriors in each of the three remaining quarters to force overtime.

Steph Curry also uncharacteristically went cold down the stretch, going scoreless in the fourth quarter and overtime in spite of still finishing with a game high 36 points. He ended up shooting 11-29 from the field, adding seven rebounds and a game-high eight assists.

The Grizzlies benefited from balanced scoring, led by Ja Morant’s 30 points on 11 for 22 shooting. He was supported by 19 from Desmond Bane and 15 from Jaren Jackson Jr.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Golden State’s Juan Toscano-Anderson soars for a slam dunk during the second half of the Warriors overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday evening.

Asked if the turnovers were the main issue in the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr agreed: “Pretty much. We had a great first quarter, the ball was moving, and then we just got a little crazy out there. I give (Memphis) credit they are on a back-to-back. They came in and dug in and played defense and forced some of those turnovers, but a lot of them were unforced. We got to do a better job taking care of the ball. It’s early in the season, I’m confident that we will learn and we’ll get better.”

Curry concurred, stating “It’s huge. It is one of our staples to take care of the ball. When you have 22 turnovers in any game, doesn’t matter if it is professional, high school, AAU, you are putting your back against the ropes. Turnovers, obviously, was the main Achilles heel for us today. Cutting down on that will definitely help us.”

The Warriors return to action Saturday night when they host Oklahoma City at Chase Center in a game scheduled for a 5:30PM tip-off.

GAME NOTES:

The loss snapped the Warriors season-opening four-game winning streak. Golden State last started 4-1 in 2018-19 on the way to their fifth consecutive Western Conference championship.

The game was the first match-up between the two teams since Memphis ended the Warriors 2020-21 season in a play-in game on May 21st.

Draymond Green recorded five blocks, one shy of his career high.

About Daniel Gluskoter

Daniel Gluskoter is the Martinez Tribune's national music and sports editor and a Bay Area photojournalist who's work has been featured in Rolling Stone, Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2008 Presidential campaign as a correspondent for United Press International and has travelled worldwide covering events ranging from numerous Super Bowls and Olympics to Live Aid and the Grammys.

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