After dropping the first game in the series on their home court, the Memphis Grizzlies were able to bounce back and pull out a win in Game 2 in order to tie the series against the Golden State Warriors, 1-1. Memphis was able to win that second game thanks largely to the superior play of Ja Morant. Morant tied a career playoff-high with 47 points — including the last 15 points for Memphis in the fourth — to go along with eight rebounds and eight assists in a 106-101 win. Now the series shifts to San Francisco, where someone will take a 2-1 lead in Game 3 on Saturday night.
Here’s everything you need to know about the third game between Memphis and Golden State.
- When: Saturday, May 7 | 8:30 p.m. ET
- Where: Chase Canter — San Francisco, California
- TV: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
- Odds: MEM +250; GS -300; O/U 225.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies
The Warriors have to figure out a way to slow down Morant. Without Gary Payton II, who is sidelined following an elbow injury he suffered in Game 2, the Warriors don’t have an individual lockdown defender that they can stick on Morant. That became obvious in Game 2, as the star guard had his way with Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, or whoever else ended up on him. Without a single defender capable of slowing Morant, perhaps it will have to be a scheme thing for Golden State. Maybe the team will try to trap him and force the ball out of his hands a bit more.
On the other side of the ball, the Warriors also have to find a way to get Klay Thompson going. No one expected him to immediately look like old Klay after missing two-and-a-half seasons with injury issues, but he has been struggling mightily in this series, on both ends of the floor. Thompson has shot just six of 28 from long range over his last three games, including Games 1 and 2 against Memphis, which is obviously well below his average. If he can get going from long range, it will open the Warriors’ offense up tremendously and make slightly easier for Curry, Jordan Poole and the rest of his teammates.
Both of the first two games in the series have been extremely close, so this one could obviously go either way. But, until the Warriors show that they have some sort of an answer for Morant, it’s going to be tough for them to pull out wins. Pick: Grizzlies +7