SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jordan Poole scored the winning layup with a second remaining to cap a crazy, back-and-forth final minute, and the Golden State Warriors fought back to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 122-120 on Wednesday night.
Brandon Clarke had a tying dunk with 6.3 seconds left for Memphis on a pass from Ja Morant after Klay Thompson’s 3-pointer with 14.6 remaining put the Warriors ahead. Thompson then missed a rushed baseline jumper with five seconds to play, but Golden State got the ball out of bounds.
Stephen Curry outdueled Morant and scored 34 points before being ejected with 1:14 remaining in another thrilling game between the rivals who played last year in the Western Conference semifinals won by the Warriors in five games.
Morant wound up with 29 points and 12 assists after missing a game with an ankle injury. He converted a pair of free throws with 26.6 seconds left to put Memphis ahead before Thompson’s big 3.
Curry hit a tying jumper with 2:18 left and made three free throws at the 1:55 mark. He drew the ejection for throwing his mouthpiece into the seats. “He knows he can’t make that mistake,” coach Steve Kerr said.
Desmond Bane added 20 points for the Grizzlies in a balanced effort to help lessen the sting of losing durable big man Steven Adams for the foreseeable future with a knee injury.
Morant, who missed a loss Monday night at Sacramento with soreness in his left ankle, found Brandon Clarke for an alley-oop layup and three-point play with 4:10 remaining then Curry and Jordan Poole scored consecutive layups.
Thompson added 24 points and his 3 with 3:38 left in the third pulled the Warriors to 81-79. Then Curry converted a tying four-point play with 2:27 to go in the period after falling into the courtside seats.
The Warriors had lost four straight home games after beginning the season 17-2 at Chase Center.
Jonathan Kuminga moved into the Golden State starting lineup with Andrew Wiggins ill. Late in the first half, Kuminga drove through the lane for a highlight-reel left-handed slam then knocked down a 3-pointer a few possessions later. He wound up with 13 points.
Poole finished with 21 points and seven assists as the Warriors beat the Grizzlies again following a 123-109 win on Christmas Day. The Grizzlies have lost a season-high four straight to begin this season-long five-game West Coast road trip.
Green was whistled for his 14th technical foul of the season, moving him within two of an automatic one-game suspension.
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins will mix and match lineups and substitution patterns without Adams, who is expected to miss three to five weeks with a sprained ligament in his right knee that he injured Sunday in Phoenix.
“We’re definitely going to miss Stevo, he does so much for us, all the little things, to impact winning,” Jenkins said. “We’re just going to need other guys to raise their level in those departments. Obviously we’re struggling right now on both ends of the floor, we just got to find our groove, it’s next-man up mentality.”
Grizzlies: Danny Green is set to make his season debut Feb. 1 at home against Portland as he returns from left knee surgery. “That’s the plan as of now,” Jenkins said. Green will get some scrimmaging and work with the G League Memphis Hustle this week. … Jaren Jackson Jr. fouled out with 2:33 to go. … Memphis will host the defending champions for the last two meetings: March 9 annd March 18.
Warriors: Kerr found out Wednesday morning Wiggins was sick and Kuminga earned his sixth start. … Curry reached 21,000 career points. He committed two fouls just 59 seconds into the game.
Grizzlies: At Minnesota on Friday night.
Warriors: Host Toronto on Friday night. ___
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