Poole denies targeting Morant’s knee as tempers flare in Warriors-Grizzlies series | NBA

Stephen Curry scored 30 points, Klay Thompson had 21 and nine rebounds and Golden State shut down Ja Morant’s supporting cast to embarrass Memphis 142-112 and take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

Morant’s three just before the halftime buzzer got the Grizzlies to 64-57 at the break and gave him 17 of his 34 points after a 47-point performance in Game 2. But Morant couldn’t do it alone for Memphis, and limping off court with 6:19 to play before heading to the locker room.

Ja Morant reacted to Jordan Poole grabbing his knee.

(via @JaMorant) pic.twitter.com/9XhvkPfYxG

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 8, 2022


Still bothered by Dillon Brooks ’hard foul in Game 2 that fractured Gary Payton II’s elbow, Draymond Green and Golden State kept cool from the opening tip methodically running away with it. After Payton’s injury, Warriors coach Steve Kerr claimed the Grizzlies had broken the NBA “code” by hurting him. On Saturday it was the Grizzlies who directed the accusation at the Warriors.

After the game, Morant tweeted – then deleted – a video of Warriors guard Jordan Poole grabbing his knee along with the caption “broke the code”. Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. was asked about Poole’s play after the game.

“You know our mentality … you know, make a play on the ball. It’s unfortunate. You never want to see that kind of stuff. Obviously, it’s not done by – no one is out here dirty. No one is out here like that. But it’s just unfortunate… You know the code. Talk about the code all series at this point. ”

Poole denied he had intentionally hurt Morant. “It was a basketball game when we doubled him,” Poole said. “And I hit the ball, and I was going for the ball. I mean, obviously, you don’t want to see anybody get hurt. I’m not even that type of player. I respect everybody. ”

Grizzlies guard De’Anthony Melton said he was hopeful Morant, who has dazzled in the playoffs so far, would return for Game 4 of the series on Monday.

“I mean, we’ve seen him heal like Wolverine out there,” Melton said. “He can be limping one day, the next be fine. He is a warrior and a competitor. Who knows where his level of injury is at? He understands his body and what the team needs, and he will make the best decision. ”

In Saturday’s other game, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 42 points and made the go-ahead basket with 44.3 seconds left and the Milwaukee Bucks withstood a frantic flurry of shots in the final seconds to beat the Boston Celtics 103-101 in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal.

Defending champion Bucks leads the best-of-seven series 2-1, with Game 4 on Monday night in Milwaukee.

Boston trailed 103-100 when Marcus Smart was fouled by Jrue Holiday just before attempting a potential tying three-pointer with 4.6 seconds remaining. Smart made the first free throw, then missed the second intentionally flinging a shot that went hard off the backboard before hitting the rim.

Smart got the rebound, but missed his putback attempt. Boston’s Robert Williams charged toward the basket and sent the ball up and off the glass. Al Horford was waiting on the right side with a putback attempt that also went off the glass. Horford then got his own rebound and banked it in, but his final shot came just after the buzzer sounded.

However, the Celtics thought they should have got a three-shot foul after Holiday’s infringement on Smart, something which would have given Boston a chance to level the game from the line.

“You need three [points] with 4.6 seconds, they know we need three, ”Smart said after the game. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s not like he got me when it was down low. I was already in my shooting motion. I thought it was gonna be three free throws; they said it wasn’t. ”

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