Ja Morant was the scoring leader with 34 points, but suffered a knee injury and limped off the court late in the fourth quarter.
Upon further analysis by Twitter detectives, there seemed to be two plays where Morant could have possibly tweaked his knee.
On the Warriors first play out of the second half, Morant’s knee seems to hit Klay Thompson’s knee after a three pointer by Thompson. Morant can be seen favor his knee more after the play.
The second play that is under intense controversy transpires during the fourth quarter, where Jordan Poole appears to grab Morant’s knee during a double team.
Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins was pretty aggressive and pointed out that Poole grabbed Morant’s knee, and was looking into what consequences could come out of it.
“We just watched the replay. He was going after a dribble, and Jordan Poole actually grabbed his knee and yanked it, which triggered whatever happened,” Jenkins tells reporters after Game 3. “I’m actually going to be very curious to see what happens after that.”
In a since deleted tweet, Morant tweeted out the play where Poole grabs his knee, and took a swipe at Warriors head coach Steve Kerr when he said ‘broke the code’, something Kerr had said about Dillon Brooks taking out Gary Payton II during Game 2.
Warriors Come to Jordan Poole’s Defense
All three veteran stars from the Warriors brushed off the Grizzlies’ accusation against Poole and defended the young star in the making.
Klay Thompson started to laugh when he was asked about Morant’s tweet, and pointed out that Poole probably was not strong enough to hurt anyone’s knee by grabbing at it. Thompson also took a shot at Brooks in the process.
“It’s not a joking matter that Ja is hurt,” Curry says during his postgame conference. “But the rest of this is BS. You know that term hot stove contact? That’s what it felt like. Keep it moving.”
Curry is usually pretty diplomatic in his responses, and his thoughts here presents a pretty hardened stance on what he thinks about the Grizzlies accusations.
Draymond Green thought that Poole and Morant had actually bumped knees prior to Poole grabbing at Morant’s knee.
“Not gonna sit here and tit for tat,” Green responded when asked if he had a response to Morant’s tweet. “We got a basketball game to win Monday.”
NBA League Office Will Look at Play to Determine Consequences: Report
Poole offered his own thoughts on the play after the game.
“Yeah it was a basketball play,” Poole said. “We doubled him. I hit the ball and I was going for the ball and obviously, you don’t want to see anybody get hurt. I’m not even that type of player. I respect everybody. I mean obviously, I hope he gets better and we can see him out there next game. But I don’t even play like that. For real, that’s not my type of game.”
Looking back at the play, Jenkins saying Poole ‘yanked’ on Morant’s knee is laughable. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the league will make a decision to see if Poole will be punished.
Wojnarowski tweeted something similar after Game 2 about Brooks foul on Gary Payton II. Brooks was later suspended for Game 3. Hopefully, the league will see the play for what it is, and Morant can get out there on the court for Game 4. There has just been too much drama going on, and they need to just play basketball.