Despite the absence of first star Jaj Morant, Memphis defeated the reigning NBA champions Golden State. Meanwhile, Milwaukee continues its winning streak.
Grizzlies celebrated with 131:100. The third game was played without Morant, after he posed with a gun in one of the nightclubs on Saturday night and filmed himself doing so. The club management immediately suspended him, and the first star of the lineup from Tennessee will miss at least three more games, including the two against Dallas that follow.
Before the showdown with the Warriors, Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters that the club had spoken to the great defender about his off-court behavior even before the aforementioned incident. “We’ve had conversations in the past trying to guide him and help him develop both as a player and as a person. Then it came out and we started the process. Certain steps need to be taken, on a personal and professional level,” Jenkins said.
His protégés broke a streak of three defeats. The hosts started the meeting with a bang and scored as many as 48 points in the first quarter. They led by 20, and at halftime they led 77:59. 77 points is also the most they have scored in the first part this season. In the third quarter, the champions began to close the gap and came within ten points before the last quarter, but the last quarter was again entirely in the hands of the Grizzlies (32:17).
“Several times we led by 20, but then the advantage dwindled and was suddenly single-digit. I’m proud of how the players reacted and stayed on the set path. They played together both in defense and attack,Jenkins was pleased.They simply played significantly better than us,” was the succinct coach of the Warriors, Steve Kerr. His team lost for the third time in a row and the eighth in a series on the road, where it has many problems this year. It won only seven times in 33 games on the road. Tyus Jones was the best with 22 points and 11 assists at Memphis, and at Golden State, Steph Curry contributed 29 points.
Matches on March 9:INDIANA – HOUSTON 134:125 – in overtimeHaliburton 29 (9/20 from the field, 2/9 from three) and 19 assists, Turner 21, Nwora 18; Smith 30 (10/19 from the field, 3/5 from three) and 12 rebounds, Green 24, Martin 23.
DETROIT – CHARLOTTE 103:113 Joseph 17, Wiseman (13 rebounds) and Ivey each 16, Livers 13; Oubre 27 (4/7 for three), Rozier 21 (9/22 from the field, 1/7 for three), Washington 20.
ORLANDO – UTAH 124:131 Banchero 26 (3/4 for three), Fultz 25, F. Wagner 24 (4/9 for three); Markkanen 31 (11/22 from the field), Horton Tucker 23 (10/18 from the field) and 8 assists, Fontecchio 17.
MEMPHIS – GOLDEN STATE 131:110 Jones 22 (3/9 for three) and 11 assists, Jackson Jr. (3/4 for three) and Bane 21 each, Morant not playing; Curry 29 (10/19 from the field, 4/8 for threes), Poole 22 (5/10 from the field, 10/10 free throws), Green 16, Thompson 14 (2/7 for threes).
MILWAUKEE – BROOKLYN 118:113 Portis 28 (11/15 from the field, 3/4 for three) and 13 rebounds, B. Lopez 24 (3/7 for three) and 10 rebounds, Allen 19 (3/9 for three), Andetokumbo and Dragić did not play; Mills 23 (5/9 for three), Thomas 21 (3/6 for three), Smith 17.
SACRAMENTO – NEW YORK 122:117 Sabonis 24 (9/15 from the field), 13 rebounds and 10 assists, Fox 23 (9/16 from the field), Monk 19 (4/6 from three); Barrett 25 (9/23 from the field, 1/8 from three), Randle 23 and 10 rebounds.
Matches on March 10:PHILADELPHIA – PORTLAND WASHINGTON – ATLANTA MIAMI – CLEVELAND MINNESOTA – BROOKLYN SAN ANTONIO – DENVER LA LAKERS – TORONTO