The Golden State Warriors defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 142-112 on Saturday night to take a commanding 2-1 series lead in their best-of-seven playoff showdown.
Unfortunately, the victory did not come without controversy.
With just under seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the outing largely out of reach for Memphis, Grizzlies star Ja Morant got injured when Warriors guard Jordan Poole seemed to grab his knee:
Looks like this is where Ja might have hurt himself before the free throws – right leg: pic.twitter.com/2dASccHNlq
— Half Court Hoops (@HalfCourtHoops) May 8, 2022
This looks like the play Ja Morant got hurt. pic.twitter.com/J24ssu5i9P
— Drew Hill (@DrewHill_DM) May 8, 2022
Morant would go on to leave the game.
Afterward, clearly still livid about what transpired, the 22-year-old took to social media to express his disgust:
The reference there is to the Warriors accusing Dillon Brooks of breaking an unspoken code over his flagrant foul against Gary Payton II in Game 2. He would go on to be suspended Game 3.
Dillon Brooks was ejected for this flagrant 2 on Gary Payton.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 4, 2022
Kerr on Dillon Brooks’ Flagrant 2 foul on GP2: “That wasn’t physical, that was dirty”pic.twitter.com/48m9jerVqq
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 4, 2022
Morant seems to have felt the two sequences were similar enough to warrant comparison.
Morant would delete the tweet almost immediately after posting it.
After Game 3, Stephen Curry came to Poole’s defense.
“There’s nothing malicious about what Jordan did, there’s no comparison to what Dillon did or Draymond, like nothing in that vein,” he said. “So it’s not a joke that Ja’s hurt but all the rest of it is just total BS in terms of the conversation right now.”
Klay Thompson agreed.
“I’ve had a bad knee injury [before],” said Thompson, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “Jordan had no malicious intent. He’s not out here clubbing people in the back of the head on fast breaks. We play the game the right way.”
That said, Poole has had a fantastic playoffs as well. He even got himself a new girlfriend along the way. It would be a shame if this clearly accidental play ultimately marred what he has accomplished.
Fans noticed something about the woman behind the Dallas Stars’ bench. https://t.co/suLFtlRimt
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 8, 2022
Whether Poole’s actions rise to the egregiousness of Brooks’ are a matter of personal opinion. Some will say yes, others will disagree.
But what matters is what the NBA thinks. And an answer should come out on that within the next 24 hours.