The playoffs are heating up and the daily preview takes it to the rim with NBA tips for Game 5 of the Semi-final series between Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies.
11:30 (AEST), Thu 12th May @ FedEx Forum, Memphis
History: Played 109: Warriors 58 V Grizzlies 51
Last meeting: May 10, 2022: Warriors 101 d Grizzlies 98 at FedEx Forum
Final Thoughts: Memphis Grizzlies’ promising playoffs campaign has hit a near-insurmountable roadblock in the form of an injury to Ja Morant. Golden State Warriors are consequently warm favourites to finish off the series on the road in Game 5.
Morant suffered a knee injury in Game 3 and is doubtful to return during the playoffs – though the Grizzlies’ post-season looks like it may only have one game left.
The Warriors took out the series opener in a 117-116 thriller with Jordan Poole (31 pts, 8 reb, 9 ast) was outstanding off the bench. Memphis bounced back 106-101 in Game 2 as Morant exploded for 47 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals.
The Warriors emphatically regained the ascendancy with a 142-112 thrashing of the Grizzlies in San Francisco in Game 3. Curry (30 pts, 6 ast), Thompson (21 pts, 9 reb, 4 ast) and Poole (27 pts) all starred, while Morant (34 pts, 7 ast) tried hard but lacked support in the face of a swarming Golden State offence that shot 53.1 percent from three-point range.
Golden State had their own Game 4 obstacles with coach Steve Kerr floored by COVID. The Grizzlies led by seven at three-quarter time but couldn’t stop a Curry-led Warriors charge down the stretch as the took a 3-1 series lead with a 101-98 win.
Curry had 32 points and 8 assists, while Andrew Wiggins (17 pts, 10 reb) was also prominent. Jaren Jackson Jr (21 pts, 5 reb, 5 blk) top-scored for the Grizzlies with Morant sidelined, but the returning Dillon Brooks (12 pts on 5-of-19 shooting) had a tough night out.
The Grizzlies remain a remarkable 21-6 without Morant this season, going on some impressive runs during his extended absences in December and March. But it’s a different ball game in the playoffs and a huge ask up against the shooting dominance of Curry, Poole and Thompson.
They’ll have to work hard for it again – particularly in Memphis – but the Warriors will sealed their passage to the Conference Finals in Game 5.
Best Bet: Handicap – Warriors -4.5 @ $1.95
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