Ja Morant scored 47 points including two late clutch free throws to help the Memphis Grizzlies defeat the Golden State Warriors 106-101 on Tuesday night. The Semi Finals matchup is now tied at 1-1 and game 3 will be in San Francisco on Saturday. 

Stephen Curry’s 27 points led the Warriors in the loss. Klay Thompson added only 12 points on 2-of-12 shooting from 3-point range. This win was even more impressive considering Memphis did so for long periods without Dillon Brooks. Brooks was called for a Flagrant 2 in the first quarter and then ejected from the game. It came as a result of Brooks making contact with Gary Payton II’s head on a layup attempt. Payton left the game due to the injury and is now out for an indefinite period. Payton has a left elbow fracture and will have an MRI on Wednesday to determine the severity.

“That wasn’t physical. That was dirty,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told TNT’s Jared Greenberg at the end of the first quarter.

Later in the period, Warriors forward Draymond Green was taken to the locker room after an elbow to the face from Memphis’ Xavier Tillmon. He would return at the beginning of the second quarter after receiving stitches for a right eye laceration.

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Warriors’ Poor Defense 

The Warriors struggled to stay in front of Ja Morant for large parts of the game. They just couldn’t guard him in the fourth quarter and their best perimeter defender was injured. At that point, it had certainly become a major issue that quite possibly swung this game in the Grizzlies’ direction. Klay is not the defender he once was and so taking on that assignment seemed a step too far.  Andre Iguodala could return for Game 3, but the Warriors might need to send more double teams at Morant. 

The way for the Warriors to take control of this series is simply to shoot the ball better. Klay Thompson in particular has shot poorly in the first two games. They need the splash brothers to find their shooting range and quickly enough too. Last night, they went 7 of 38 from 3-point range, one of their worst shooting nights of the entire season.