On Friday night, the young Memphis Grizzlies eliminated the Warriors from playoff contention in the NBA play-in tournament with a 117-112 win at Chase Center, effectively ending the Warriors’ season.
At no point did Memphis lose the lead, but the Warriors came storming back in the final minutes to steal the victory. Yet, in the final minute and a half of overtime, the Grizzlies outscored the Warriors 10-3, thanks in large part to two clutch floaters by second-year player Ja Morant.
Morant scored 35 points and matched Steph Curry, who scored 39 points against a defence aimed only at stopping him, shot for shot.
From the postgame press conferences of both teams, here are some memorable excerpts:
What’s the proper language for how you feel after suffering a loss? Moral triumphs? Weird, because we’re not used to it, yet we are pleased with our accomplishments.
You can talk about the collection guys that were out there this final little stretch and what we didn’t have (with injuries), what we lacked, but we did have a lot of heart,” the coach said of his team’s determination.
We have a ways to go because we’re not in the playoffs,” said the Warriors, referring to their distance from the postseason. Distance between us and the enemy is large. We’re not that far off from where we need to be; just a little bit of fine tuning here and there.
With regard to Steph Curry, we kept on fighting and clawing. What I witnessed from Steph this year in terms of his development as a player and a leader was phenomenal, in my opinion.
The team’s season was summed up by the following statement: “We’re tremendously sorry that we’re not going to get the chance to participate in the playoffs. If only we could have done that, we could have had a great time. In many ways, we advanced significantly. Our anticipation for this group’s future endeavours is at an all-time high.
As the future unfolds, the coach said, “We’re going to have some guys coming back who are so much further along than they were in training camp this year, and so our depth is going to increase, and we’ve got some assets… This summer will be busy, but we’re looking forward to it.