The Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies played an instant classic Game 1 of their second round series in the 2022 NBA Playoffs on Sunday afternoon. The Grizzlies led comfortably after Draymond Green was ejected late in the first half for a flagrant-2 foul, but the Warriors staged a comeback in the third behind the hot shooting of Jordan Poole. The game was close late into the fourth quarter before giving way to a ridiculous ending.
With Golden State leading by one with under 10 seconds left, the Grizzlies intentionally fouled Klay Thompson. Thompson is a 90 percent free throw shooter for his career, but he missed both shots at the line. On the second miss, the ball seemed to clearly bounce off Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks, but the refs couldn’t figure out who should have the possession. Instead, the refs called a jump ball at center court.
The Grizzlies won the tip, but after a timeout, Ja Morant missed a potential go-ahead layup at the buzzer. The Warriors won, 117-116, to take a 1-0 series lead in the second round.
The Warriors’ win means the late game controversy will mostly be forgotten, but it sure was strange. Watch the call here.
This should have been Warriors ball, with the Grizzlies needing to quickly foul and hope for more misses. Instead, Memphis got a gift with the jump ball call.
Ngl I’ve never seen a jumpball in that scenario, not recently anyways
I need it explained
— Dom2K ⛱️ (@Dom_2k) May 1, 2022
I didn’t know a ref could call a jump ball if they just weren’t paying enough attention
— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) May 1, 2022
Jump ball at center court? What happened to the review?
— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) May 1, 2022
There was no review because neither team had a challenge left.
The jump ball is typically a meaningless play to begin the game, but instead Jaren Jackson Jr. beat Andrew Wiggins in a critical tip to give the Grizzlies one last chance. Morant just missed a good look for the win.
I love this end of game play. Very few guys can keep up with Morant, they got a good look. Great job from Klay to get off Clarke and keep Morant out of the paint. Still a good look though. pic.twitter.com/nClX5Q9hdH
— Mo Dakhil (@MoDakhil_NBA) May 1, 2022
It has to hurt for Memphis to lose a game where Green was ejected. The Grizzlies had every chance to win at the end of the game — including a gift from the refs — but they still couldn’t take advantage of it.