Golden State simply doesn’t forget how to shoot. However, this shooting performance in Game 3 was simply extraordinary. Shooting above 50% from three, above 60% from the field and 90% from the line, it would’ve taken an out of this world performance from Memphis to make this game competitive.
Golden State rookie Jonathan Kuminga got his first career playoff start, scoring 18 points in just 18 minutes. Stephen Curry actually had an off-night from three, only connecting on two of his eight attempts. He made up for it though, with a perfect 14 out of 14 from the line. The rest of the stars did their jobs, as did some reserves, filling up the stat sheets with their perimeter scoring.
Klay Thompson was four for six from downtown and scored 21 overall, Andrew Wiggins hit both of his triples and finished with 17 points, Jordan Poole shot three of five from deep and finished with 27 points, Jonathan Kuminga hit two of four of his three pointers and finished with 18 points, and Otto Porter, Jr. splashed three of his five shots from behind the arc and finished with 13 points.
Looking forward, Golden State will head into the game tomorrow with aspirations to capture a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Grizzlies, well, they have a lot of work to do.
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For Memphis, the defensive tenacity of Dillion Brooks was definitely missed. Offensively, Ja Morant continued his dominance with 34 points and 7 assists. However, nobody
else provided much support to his performance. Memphis’ second-leading scorer this season, Desmond Bane, has been rather quiet this series. He delivered his first double-digit scoring game since the series with the Timberwolves. The Grizzlies’ X-Factor Brandon Clarke was a non-factor in this game, as he wasn’t able to establish his paint presence on Golden State.
The offensive production from Memphis was also hindered by the play of Jaren Jackson Jr., who shot well from three but went 0-5 from inside the three-point arc. Memphis will need to receive the Game 1 version of Jackson Jr. when the two teams hit the hardwood once again.
Heading into the matchup on Monday for Memphis, the Grizzlies will need to get Bane going alongside Morant. That’s a good scoring duo when they are on. Bane proved to be one of the best perimeter threats in the league this year, and his shooting will be needed for Memphis to help keep pace with the Warriors.
The Grizzlies will also need to utilize their height and size with Clarke, Jackson Jr. and Steven Adams. Combined, those three were not big enough factors in Game 3. For Golden State, the Warriors simply need to keep on doing what’s working.
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with scoring 142 points. If they continue to get open looks, neutralize Morant’s teammates, and play great team defense, they should be able to head back to Memphis with a 3-1 lead. Monday’s game will tipoff at 10 pm EST at Chase Arena in San Francisco.