Ja Morant made consecutive jumpers in the final 48 seconds of overtime and scored 35 points, Memphis had an answer for every Stephen Curry flurry, and the Grizzlies are headed back to the playoffs for the first time in four years after holding off the Golden State Warriors 117-112 on Friday night in a thrilling play-in game.
Jordan Poole hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:50 left in OT for Golden State only to see Xavier Tillman answer with a baseline 3 moments later. Poole lost the ball out of bounds leading to Morant’s basket with 4 seconds left, then Poole made another improbable 3 with 2 seconds remaining.
Morant shot 14 for 29 with five 3-pointers as Memphis more than doubled its total from deep this time against Golden State to win on the Warriors’ home floor just five days after losing 113-101 in the regular-season finale.
Curry, who became scoring champion against the Grizzlies on Sunday, finished with 39 points and six 3-pointers while dazzling in front of an animated, roaring crowd of 7,505 in the biggest game yet at second-year Chase Center.
Memphis earned the No. 8 seed and advanced to face top-seeded Utah in the first round of the best-of-seven Western Conference playoffs. Game 1 is Sunday in Salt Lake City.
“A fight. We played them earlier in the season, obviously came up short,” Morant said. ” The best team in the league right now. We know what to expect. We have to lock in and play 48 minutes.”