Warriors rally after Green’s ejection, beat Grizzlies in Game 1

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Klay Thompson hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 36 seconds left, and the Golden State Warriors overcame Draymond Green’s first-half ejection to edge the Memphis Grizzlies 117-116 in Sunday’s game. 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

Jordan Poole led the Warriors with 31 points off the bench, hitting 5 of 10 3-pointers. Stephen Curry added 24 points, Andrew Wiggins had 17 and Thompson finished with 15.

Green was sent off for a flagrant foul just before halftime.

Thompson missed both free throws with 6.7 seconds left, then Memphis won a jump ball before taking a timeout with 3.6 seconds left to set up the final game. The Grizzlies executed a play similar to Ja Morant’s last-second layup to win Game 5 in the first round, but Morant’s layup went over the edge.

Morant finished with 34 points and 10 assists, and Jaren Jackson Jr. tied his season-high with six 3-pointers and had a career-high 33 points as the first pair of Memphis teammates to score at least 30 in a playoff game. D’Anthony Melton added 14 and Brandon Clarke had 12.

The Grizzlies ended their first-round streak by coming back from double-digit deficits in their last three wins — the first team in NBA history to do so more than once in the playoffs, let alone a series. They led the NBA in fourth with an average of 33 points and outscored their opponents by 10.3 points per game.

This time they could only match the Warriors point for point in the period.

Memphis edged out the Warriors for the No. 2 seed in the West by tying the franchise record with 56 wins, and the Grizzlies have also won three of four in their season series. Thompson only played one and Green two of those games and Curry three.

It was a rematch with role reversals from the 2015 semifinal the Warriors won as a young team with Memphis led by experienced veterans. It was also only the first time the Warriors entered a conference semifinal on the road, and Golden State’s third playoff series did not begin at home with Steve Kerr as coach.

The Warriors shuffled their roster, placing Poole in favor of Gary Payton II to focus on defending Morant, the Grizzlies’ All-Star point guard and the NBA’s most improved player this season.

Morant opened the game with straight 3s, half of what he did the entire first round against Minnesota, and he had 14 to help the Grizzlies lead 32-24 after the first quarter. It was the first time Memphis held an opponent within 30 points in the playoffs.

The Grizzlies led by up to 13 points in the second quarter and led 61-55 at halftime.

With 1:18 to go in the second, Green fouled Brandon Clarke. Officials reviewed the game for several minutes with fans chanting “Throw it out!” Green finished with six points, four rebounds and five turnovers.

Curry was held to eight points in the first half, none in the second and collected his third foul seconds after Green was ejected.

Curry was held to eight points in the first half, none in the second. But he scored 13 and Poole had 10 in the third as the Warriors outscored Memphis 36-29 and led 91-90 after the third. Golden State was 14 of 21 shooting in the third, including 5 of 7 from outside the arc.

TIPS

Warriors: Curry passed Dennis Johnson for 23rd place in most playoff points with 3,123. Next is Paul Pierce with 3,180. … Kevon Looney and Poole started the second half in place of Green and Payton, who started but were limited to eight minutes by three early fouls. … The Warriors also started on the road against Houston in 2018 and Toronto in 2019. … They won a road game in a series extending their NBA record to a 25th straight series.

Grizzlies: Steven Adams, who led the NBA in offensive rebounds per game during the regular season, missed a second straight game in health and safety protocols. Ziaire Williams missed his second game with right knee pain.

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