After the Grizzlies beat the Golden State Warriors to keep their season alive, Ja Morant began a chant that caught on among his teammates.
After Memphis demolished Golden State 134-95 in Game 5 on Wednesday night, sending the Western Conference semifinals back to San Francisco with the Warriors’ series lead down to 3-2, the wounded Morant loudly screamed, “Grizz in seven.”
Morant made sure everyone heard his message while a handful of his teammates cheered him on. While Memphis player Brandon Clarke was conducting a postgame interview on the court, Morant seized the microphone and said, “Grizz in seven!”
The Grizzlies crushed the Warriors despite missing their star point guard for the second straight game due to a bone bruise in his right knee. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Memphis led by as much as 55 points, and their 39-point victory matched the third-largest success when facing elimination in NBA postseason history.
The Grizzlies think they have a new lease on life and aim to force a Game 7 in Memphis.
“I’d say we’re invigorated,” said forward Dillon Brooks. “We’re locked in, and all eyes are on Game 6.” “Try to stay alive.”
In only 13 minutes, the Grizzlies turned a one-point contest into a 77-50 halftime advantage. Memphis scored 25 points off 14 Golden State mistakes in the first half and had 36 points in the paint.
“It was horrific,” said Warriors player Klay Thompson, who suffered the second-largest defeat in a game, including Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.
“It was humiliating. They had tremendous flow from the start, and they were more aggressive than us. We all thought we’d close it out tonight, but basketball isn’t always an exact science, and we played like a shell of ourselves.”
The Grizzlies started the third quarter on a 42-14 surge, increasing their advantage to 119-64 with 40 seconds remaining. Otto Porter Jr. was ruled out of the second half due to right knee pain to make matters worse for the Warriors.
Curry said, “Everything went wrong for the Warriors.”
“We lost by 55, five, lost by 55, and five,” Green remarked. “It’s one game in the series that we’ve lost.” Make sure not to overdo it.”
However, for the Grizzlies, this was simply another example of them rallying in the absence of their floor general. Memphis has improved to 21-6 sans Morant this season.
“We don’t think we’ve been questioned, but we’ve exceeded expectations,” guard Desmond Bane said when asked whether the Grizzlies believe they can win this series. “It almost feels like ever since I’ve been here, anytime someone believes we can’t accomplish anything, we achieve it.” I never want to restrict what this squad is capable of because everything is possible.”
After the game, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins was asked if Morant would be available for Game 6. Morant is expected to miss the postseason due to his injury.
“As of today,” Jenkins remarked, “I’m quite skeptical.”
One thing is certain: the Warriors are aware that they must reply on their court.
“It doesn’t feel nice to lose by such a large margin,” Thompson remarked. “However, in the end, it’s just a defeat.” You clear it from your thoughts and remind yourself of who you are.
“And we’ll give it all we’ve got on Friday.” “I believe in our prospects.”