Ja Morant erupted for 47 factors because the Memphis Grizzlies outmuscled the Golden State Warriors to degree their Western Convention NBA playoff collection with a bruising 106-101 victory on Tuesday.
Morant’s career-high playoff factors complete dragged Memphis over the road to sq. the best-of-seven semi-final collection at 1-1 after a nail-biting duel on the FedEx Discussion board in Tennessee.
However a bodily encounter was shrouded in controversy, with the Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks ejected after solely three minutes for flattening the Warriors’ Gary Payton II as he drove for a basket.
Payton performed no additional half within the contest and Warriors coach Steve Kerr later confirmed he had suffered a fractured elbow.
The Warriors’ Draymond Inexperienced, ejected in sport one on Sunday, was additionally on the receiving finish of the Grizzlies’ strong techniques, needing extended remedy within the locker room within the first quarter after being stiff-armed by Xavier Tillman.
Kerr later described the Grizzlies first-quarter method as “soiled not bodily” and accused Brooks of “breaking the code” amongst NBA professionals.
“There’s a code on this league that gamers observe the place you by no means put a man’s season or profession in jeopardy by taking anyone out in mid-air and clubbing him throughout the pinnacle and in the end fracturing Gary’s elbow,” Kerr mentioned. “Dillon Brooks broke the code. That’s how I see it.”
Regardless of the bodily nature of Memphis’s play, it was the silky expertise of Morant that in the end proved decisive, the 22-year-old pouring in 18 of his staff’s fourth-quarter factors to seal victory because the groups head again to California for sport three on Saturday.
Victory was candy for Morant, who admitted he had been affected by what would have been a game-winning missed layup in Sunday’s one-point loss in sport one.
“That loss was on my thoughts loads, lacking that layup late, so coming in right this moment I instructed myself we wanted a win and we had been going to get a win,” Morant mentioned afterwards.
“I simply took it upon myself to go on the market and try this for us.
“A staff like Golden State, they’re by no means out of the sport. We simply must lock in, preserve our foot on the gasoline and play for the total 48 minutes.”
Stephen Curry led the Warriors scoring with 27 factors whereas Jordan Poole completed with 20.
However the Warriors had been left ruing a wayward taking pictures efficiency which noticed the staff make solely 40 of 95 makes an attempt from the sphere.
Boston down Bucks
In Boston, Jaylen Brown completed with 30 factors because the Celtics bounced again to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 109-86 and degree their Japanese Convention playoff collection.
Brown produced a masterclass of taking pictures because the Celtics sprinted away from the NBA champions in a rampant first-half show on the TD Backyard which noticed them surge right into a decisive 65-40 lead.
Brown went 9-for-10 from the sphere within the first two quarters, together with 5 three-pointers, in a devastating factors blitz which left the Bucks scrambling to achieve a foothold within the contest.
The 25-year-old taking pictures guard completed with 30 factors, 5 rebounds and 6 assists whereas Jayson Tatum had 29 factors with eight assists.
Grant Williams added 21 from the bench as Boston accomplished a wire-to-wire victory simply two days after being humbled 101-89 in sport one on Sunday.
“It was one sport, we weren’t going to let one sport outline our season,” Brown mentioned of the Celtics’ response to their game-one loss. “We’ve been resilient all yr. Playoffs is all about the way you reply.
“The primary sport we obtained punched within the mouth, however tonight we got here again and threw the primary punch and we gained.”
Regardless of an improved offensive efficiency within the third quarter, the place Milwaukee outscored the Celtics 26-18, Boston’s high-scoring first-half efficiency ensured they maintained a snug double-digit lead benefit all through the second half.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks scorers with 28 factors, 9 rebounds and 7 assists whereas Jrue Vacation contributed 19.
Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton had 13 factors every for the Bucks, who will now return to Milwaukee for sport three of the best-of-seven collection on Saturday.