SAN FRANCISCO — Stephen Curry scored 30 points, Klay Thompson had 21 and nine rebounds and the Golden State Warriors shut down Ja Morant’s supporting cast to embarrass the Memphis Grizzlies 142-112 on Saturday night for a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
Morant’s 3 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 he was done after rubbing his tender right knee and limping off with 6:19 to play before heading to the locker room.
Still bothered by Dillon Brooks’ hard foul in Game 2 that sidelined Gary Payton II, Draymond Green and Golden State kept cool from the opening tip — methodically running away with it. Instead, Memphis forward Kyle Anderson got ejected with 6:19 left for arguing an offensive foul.
Brooks was suspended for his Flagrant 2 foul in the first quarter Tuesday when he pounded the head of a driving Payton, who landed awkwardly and fractured his left elbow.
He will be sidelined indefinitely, also with ligament and muscle damage.
Coach Steve Kerr said the play was “dirty” and broke an NBA “code” injuring someone and threatening his career, while Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins and his Grizzlies players defended their hard-nosed style as not dirty at all.
Brooks will be back for Game 4 on Monday night at Chase Center, where the raucous sellout crowd included two women holding signs of Payton’s face insisting the Warriors “Win it for Gary.”
Golden State did so with a balanced attack and energy on both ends after Green called for the offense to do more to better the defense.
Jordan Poole scored 27 points off the bench and Andrew Wiggins added 17 points for Golden State, which used a 10-0 run out of halftime to take command for good.
Rookie Jonathan Kuminga provided a spark starting in Payton’s place, while Ziare Williams was in for Brooks.
Curry missed his initial two shots then scored his first points of the game by making a big 3 with 0.9 left in the first as the Warriors trailed 28-26.
Morant hit a 31-foot 3-pointer midway through the first and Williams dunked shortly after for a 21-8 lead and Memphis made 6 of 9 shots to start the game. But the Grizzlies went cold and made only 3 of the next 12 and watched the Warriors close the quarter with an 18-7 burst.