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NBA: A Historic Beating Of The Warriors And An Agonizing Comeback By The Bucks

Despite the loss of Ja Morant, the Grizzlies applied a humiliating 134-95 defeat to the Warriors on Wednesday with which they remain alive in the NBA playoffs.

With a beating as amazing as it is incontestable, the Memphis Grizzlies, without the injured Ja Morant, beat the ridiculous Golden State Warriors (134-95) on Wednesday to stay alive in this Western semifinal (2-3).

Without Steve Kerr on the bench for the second game due to the coronavirus, the Warriors are still ahead and will be able to close the series on Friday back in San Francisco, but in this fifth game in Memphis they gave an improper image of one of the great contenders for the ring. It is enough to look at the statistics of the meeting to understand the magnitude of the shipwreck. The Grizzlies scored 77 points in the first half, led by 27 points at halftime and in the third quarter came to dominate the scoreboard by a brutal difference of 55 points.

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The record for the biggest difference at the end of an NBA playoff game is 58 points and it seemed tonight that if they hadn't relaxed when victory was already on the cards, the Grizzlies could have easily broken that mark.

LOST THE BALL

The long faces of the Warriors contrasted with the euphoria of some spectacular Grizzlies who, in the first three quarters (the last quarter was no longer worth anything with a score of 119-67), had made 17 of 34 triples and had made 29 points from the 20 turnovers of their rivals.

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The second quarter was a party for Memphis (39-22) but the third was already the apotheosis (42-17). With every facet of the game under their command, from rebounding to paint control to intensity on defense, the Grizzlies had seven players above 10 points. Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane and Tyus Jones were the best with 21 points apiece with none of them playing more than 25 minutes.

Klay Thompson (19 points on 7-of-12 shooting) was the Warriors' leading scorer but ended his performance with a +/- rating of -45. Stephen Curry had 14 points (4 of 10 shooting), Draymond Green had 5 points and 5 turnovers, and Jordan Poole had 4 turnovers and only 3 points (1 of 6 shooting). The Mexican-American Juan Toscano-Anderson took the court in the third quarter, when the game was already settled, and added 5 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a block in 16 minutes.

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The first quarter was the only one that had history. Thompson showed that he was fine in the shot and Curry chained two triples, but Jackson Jr. scored 10 points and was the leader of some very daring Grizzlies that closed the first quarter with a 9-0 against the tepid defense of the Warriors (38- 28). With a stark difference in intensity, speed and anger on each play, the Grizzlies drew a 14-0 run shortly before halftime against a comatose Warriors (77-50). The humiliation continued after the break for the Warriors and in less than six minutes they conceded another devastating run (23-6).

With everything decided, those from San Francisco sent their figures to rest in the middle of the third quarter and left in the air the disturbing question of whether this overwhelming victory will mark the path of resurrection for the Grizzlies or if, on the contrary, it will serve to awaken the beast of the Warriors.

BUCKS TAKE BOSTON

With an agonizing comeback, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Boston Celtics 110-107 on Wednesday and are one win away from settling this NBA playoff series. At Boston's TD Garden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, with 40 points, and Jrue Holiday , with another 24 points and two key defensive actions, led Milwaukee's tachycardic victory, which trailed the entire game until it struck the final blow in the last 10 seconds.

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The comeback of the Bucks, the defending champions, ruined the performance of young Celtics stars Jayson Tatum (34 points) and Jaylen Brown (26) and leaves Boston with no choice but to win the last two games. The Bucks lead the series 3-2 on aggregate and will get their first chance to qualify in Game 6 on Friday before their Fiserv Forum crowd. "We trust each other," Antetokounmpo said of the key to victory. "There were a lot of open teammates so we gave them the ball and made shots."

The Greek, ranked third in the voting for the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award of the season, once again supported his team on Wednesday against the powerful team play of the Celtics, who came to have a 14-point lead in the last quarter. Down the stretch, Antetokounmpo had to be treated several times for bleeding from his right eyebrow but was able to hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 1 minute, 40 seconds left, when the Celtics were within six points.

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The Greek missed a free throw with 14 seconds remaining but Bobby Portis culminated his spectacular performance (14 points and 15 rebounds) by capturing the rebound and scoring a providential basket. Jrue Holiday sealed the win for Milwaukee with a block and a steal on the Celtics' last two possessions.

The winner of this tie will face either the Philadelphia 76ers or the Miami Heat, who lead their series 3-2, in the Eastern Finals.

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