The Golden State Warriors have been in a state of disarray as of late, but they picked up a huge win over the Memphis Grizzlies on January 25. Heading into the contest, they had lost six of their last nine games, but the win brought their record back to 25-25 on the season.
Golden State won by the skin of their teeth, with Jordan Poole sinking what would be the game-winning layup in the final seconds of the game. Grizzlies star Jaren Jackson Jr. fouled out of the game with 2:33 to go in the fourth quarter, and after the contest, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr mentioned that as a turning point in the game.
“I thought Jaren Jackson’s sixth foul was a big moment in the game,” Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area. “It allowed us to play smaller for a longer stretch.”
Kerr rolled out a small-ball lineup of Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Donte DiVincenzo, and Draymond Green for a long portion of the final frame. And when Curry got ejected, he stuck with the idea, subbing in Anthony Lamb, who has emerged as a quality rotational piece for the Warriors this season.
With Jackson out, the Grizzlies subbed in Tyus Jones – a 6’2 point guard. It left them with Brandon Clarke (who stands at 6’8) as their lone big man, as Steven Adams has been sidelined for 3-5 weeks with a PCL sprain.
Jackson played an important role for the Grizzlies against Golden State, as he’s one of the current favorites to take home the Defensive Player of the Year award this season. Against Golden State, he finished with 17 points and six boards on 4-of-11 shooting from the floor and 2-of-3 shooting from distance, including six points in the fourth quarter alone.
Jordan Poole Mocks Stephen Curry After Ejection
As noted, the Warriors’ win came down to the wire against the Grizzlies, but there was plenty of drama before Poole’s game-winning layup. With over a minute to go in the fourth, Poole took a deep three-pointer, and Curry was not happy with the shot selection.
After the shot attempt, Curry was furious. He ran down the court and threw his mouthguard into the first row of the crowd. The officials immediately ejected him from the game, and Golden State was forced to play the rest of the game without him.
Luckily for Curry, Poole made up for the shot with his clutch layup, and the youngster let him know after the game. After the win, a video was released by NBA on ESPN of Poole mocking Curry in the arena tunnels. He threw his mouthguard, imitating Curry’s actions before the two embraced in celebration.
Stephen Curry Explains Frustration With Jordan Poole
Before his ejection, Curry was incensed. However, after the game, he explained that his frustration came from a place of competitiveness, as he got caught up in the heat of the game.
“Yeah, it was a crucial time in the game and the way our season has gone, as you know, there’s questions about the heightened sense of urgency and about how every detail matters,” Curry said via NBC Sports Bay Area. “You want something really bad, like just getting a win. With fourth quarter execution, clutch time type of situations, all that stuff does matter. So I reacted in a way that, obviously, put myself out of the game and put the team in a tough place. But, the intentions and the energy around what matters in the sense of winning, that’s what it’s about. Thankfully my teammates responded extremely well, Klay (Thompson) with a big shot, JP with the game-winner at the end. Execution was great. We needed that one, there was a lot of sense of urgency for sure, and I kind of let my emotions get in the way of it.”