NBA: The Warriors reach one of the semifinals and Ja Morant gives oxygen to Memphis against the Lakers | Sports

Draymond Green fouls Kings guard De'Aaron Fox.
Draymond Green fouls Kings guard De’Aaron Fox.JOHN G. MABANGLO (EFE)

NBA Playoffs – playoffs – working day fifteen

Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings
Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors

You have to go back to Christmas 2019, to a victory against the Houston Rockets, to remember a game where Draymond Green scored more than 20 points. The controversial defensive player of the Golden State Warriors was one of the key players in the victory over the Sacramento Kings (123-116) this Wednesday. The reigning NBA champions are one win away from advancing to the West semifinals to continue their title defense. The sixth game will be played on Friday in San Francisco, where Steph Curry’s men have won 14 of the last 15 games.

Green chipped in 21 points off the bench. He has had a chance to clean up his reputation after being suspended in Game 3 of the series for stomping Domantas Sabonis on the chest when he was on the ground. On Wednesday, he was one of four Warriors to score twenty or more (the team hit 52% of their shots inside the box). Leading the way was Curry, who hit 31 and had eight assists. Klay Thompson (25) and Andrew Wiggins (20) were the other two. Center Kevon Looney matched his career high with 22 rebounds. Golden State dominated in the defensive game with seven blocks by two of its opponents.

The Kings finished third in the West, but the playoffs allow each team to rewrite their history, as Miami has shown by eliminating the Bucks in the East. Those from Sacramento are still looking for a place in the postseason, a stage that was unattainable for 16 years and where the Warriors move like a fish in water.

The Kings were trailing at home tonight for most of the game. They trailed by 12 early in the fourth quarter. They went on a 13-2 run in three minutes thanks to Malik Monk (21 points) bringing them within one point with four minutes left. When they had a chance to turn the game around, the Kings made a couple of mistakes. Their stars De’Aaron Fox (24 points despite a broken finger on his shooting hand) turned over six balls and Domantas Sabonis, who hit 21 and had 10 rebounds, dropped five. The road begins to be uphill. They must beat Steve Kerr’s charges away on Friday.

Anthony Davis defends the basket against Ja Morant.
Anthony Davis defends the basket against Ja Morant.JUSTIN FORD (Getty Images via AFP)

The Grizzlies are still alive

Ja Morant and Desmond Bane powered the Grizzlies with 64 points this Wednesday to defeat the Lakers. The win forces the series back to Los Angeles on Friday for Game 6. Morant seems to have left the right hand injury behind, as he has scored 31 points (he shot 13 of 26 inside the area) and grabbed ten rebounds. It was not the only double-double of the match. Bane, who is averaging 24.3 points per game over the last ten games, hit 33 and also had 10 rebounds. The Memphis stars have made it clear why the team held the best home record in the West with 35 wins and six losses. If the Lakers want to reach the semifinal in the conference they will have to liquidate them in the Crypto stadium to avoid playing in Tennessee the seventh.

The Lakers have once again shown their dependence on LeBron James. The 38-year-old star had a great game on Monday with 22 points in which he forced overtime. After the victory, his teammates received him in the locker room bleating, a nod to the goat, the Greatest Of All Time, or GOAT. Tonight, James got off to a modest start with just one basket on his first seven shots from inside the box. However, he closed the night with 15 points and 10 rebounds. On Monday, by contrast, he became the NBA’s greatest player to surpass 20 points and 20 rebounds in the playoffs.

Anthony Davis returned to the level he had shown during the series against the number 2 in the West. The forward had a double double with 31 points and 19 rebounds in 35 minutes on the court. The player, who has a sore hip, is below the 26 points he averaged per game during the regular season. Austin Reaves added 17 points and six assists to his account.

The Lakers had a closing streak of 20-7 in the last quarter, which reduced the distance with the locals, who came to be winning by 17 points in the first part. Memphis deployed, as a farewell, its offensive power with eight baskets in a row. This fired up the 18,000 fans present. The effort has brought the Grizzlies to life for one more game.

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