Warriors sing Memphis blues as road struggles continue

MEMPHIS — Draymond Green started to head to the locker room in the second before the final horn Thursday night.

He had seen enough.

The Grizzlies delivered a 131-110 beatdown to hand the Warriors their eighth straight road loss in what was another chippy meeting between these two teams.

Ja Morant remains away from the Grizzlies as the NBA investigates an incident where he flashed what appeared to be a handgun on Instagram Live at a Denver-area nightclub. Without their flashy star guard, the Grizzlies got contributions from up-and-down its roster, with six players finishing in double figure scoring. Tyus Jones led Memphis with 22 points and 11 assists.

Jonathan Kuminga was sidelined for Thursday’s game after rolling his right ankle during warmups. With Kuminga out, coach Steve Kerr went with a four-guard lineup, hoping to reverse the Warriors’ trends of slow starts.

Again, it didn’t work.

Memphis took a 48-28 lead at the end of the opening quarter and led the entire way.

Golden State started to come back to life in the second quarter, stringing together a 19-5 run to come within six with 7:01 left in the half.

But they started to unravel in the final two minutes of the second quarter, committing four turnovers while the Grizzlies closed out the half on a 10-2 run to go up 77-59 at the break.

At one point in the meltdown, Dillon Brooks picked off a lazy Warriors’ inbound pass and turned it into a layup. He then taunted Green, going face-to-face with the Warriors star. But Green, who is one technical foul away from a suspension, kept his cool.

Brooks was also in the ear of Stephen Curry throughout the night.

The Warriors clawed back in the third but could never take control of the game. They were within six at the start of the fourth, but Memphis took it from there.

Kerr waved the white flag with 3:43 left in the game, telling Draymond Green to go back to the bench and pulling Curry.

Brooks added fuel to the fire ahead of Thursday night’s game, telling ESPN he doesn’t like the Warriors and he specifically ripped Green because “Draymond talks a lot. Gets away with a lot, too.”

Green responded Wednesday with a five-minute rant on his “Draymond Green Show” podcast, during which he called Brooks a “clown” and “idiot” for his comments.

Brooks and the Grizzlies got the last laugh — at least on Thursday night — giving the Warriors their third straight loss.

All momentum gained from the Warriors’ undefeated five-game homestand has been lost. Golden State, which has dropped its last three games, will return home for two tough matchups before hitting the road again for a five-city trip. They host the East-leading Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday and Phoenix Suns on Monday.

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